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Keywords of this article:  injection molding 
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injection mold 
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The new M3 injection molding machine features a proprietary injection process for producing very small, high precision plastic parts without cold runners.
The new M3 injection molding machine features a proprietary injection process for producing very small, high precision plastic parts without cold runners.

MHS Mold Hotrunner Solutions, a leader in the field of valve gate hot runner technology, will present a new injection process for high precision medical and electronic plastic parts at NPE.

At NPE 2018 in Orlando, the company will expand its product range for high precision injection molding
solutions with the launch of an all new generation of its M3 micro injection molding machine, an innovative production cell for direct gating small and micro-sized plastic parts.

The turn-key molding machine is aimed at an
increasing number of OEMs and manufacturers looking to grow with the continuing trend of miniaturization, especially in medical and electronic devices.

With the release of the new M3, the model M3-D08, MHS marks another milestone for precision valve gating. The M3, which is designed and built in North America, boasts a number of key features that set it apart from the field. It is the only dedicated micro injection molding machine capable of producing small, direct gated plastic parts on a large scale.

The electro-pneumatic molding cell delivers both high volume and low volume production capabilities to all
industries that require extreme precision, quality, speed and flexibility.

The M3 offers all the advantages of direct valve gate hot runner technology. Eliminating cold runners improves part quality, speeds up cycle times and reduces waste in the form of scrap material. This results in substantial savings especially when molding highly valuable plastics such as PEEK or bioabsorbables.

With
conventional cold runner micro molding, it is common for the weight of the runner to be multiple times greater than the weight of the part produced. The M3 can direct gate parts as small as 0.001 g with a fine gate diameter of 0.5 mm (.0197”). 

The improved accuracy of the high pressure ISOKOR injection process improves the part quality and consistency of each part. The machine has a substantially lower melt residence time than conventional solutions and therefore protects against plastic degradation in the runners, one of the biggest problems in micro molding.

Micro injection
molding is very different from conventional molding. A molder has to “baby” the material because only a miniscule amount of plastic moving through the system is being consumed with each cycle. In some cases, a single grain of granulate can produce 10 parts or more. The M3 solves that problem.

Highlights include:

  • High quality, direct gated parts without wasted cold runner material or secondary processes
  • Faster cycle times for small parts ranging from 0.001 - 0.400 g (generally ranging from 4-6 seconds, depending on the part)
  • Extremely high production outputs of up to 60 million direct gated plastic parts per year
  • Fast, cost effective prototype molding and low volume molding
  • Ability to produce two different part designs with each shot, each with different part weights
  • Patented ISOKOR injection technology reduces melt residence time and protects resin morphology
  • Small footprint, easy to move with leveling castors
  • Integrated automation featuring standard touchless parts handling and take-out
  • Powerful, user friendly machine controls with large touch screen interface and secure cloud access
  • Clean room options available
  • Energy savings

While the name M3 originates from micro molding machine, it is important to note that the M3 is not restricted to micro parts, as it has enough clamp force and shot volume to produce “larger” small parts and also has the ability to expand the number of parts produced on one machine. The all new design is based on the success of previous models. The first M3 was introduced in Germany in 2013.

We believe that micro molding plays a critical role in the future of plastics production and that now is the time for a big leap forward. Our goal is to take micro injection from a niche molding technology to the mainstream. The M3 makes it easy for OEMs and molders to get into the game. Injection molding precision plastic parts has never been this easy, efficient or profitable. We want everyone to start thinking small. If it can be made with plastics, at this scale and speed, and direct gated, there are so many advantages and possibilities,” said Harald Schmidt, President of MHS.

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