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Keywords of this article:  injection molding 
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automotive 
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injection mold 
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HRSflow Marketing Manager Grit Reifer in front of an e-bike, a product of the company’s customer.
HRSflow Marketing Manager Grit Reifer in front of an e-bike, a product of the company’s customer.

The automotive industry is facing falling sales for the foreseeable future and the uncertainty remains high. Meanwhile, the timeline for the move to electric is increasingly being set by government policies adopted to cut carbon dioxide emissions.

Grit Reifer, Marketing Manager, HRSflow, shared her insights on this issue at K 2019. “There is a kind of uncertainty in the automotive market as to how it will go next year. Here in Germany, we have focused in e-mobility, but it may not be the final solution.”

The automotive industry and the consumers are in grip of a “power struggle”, rather undetermined if they should go for electric, hybrid or traditional cars. She believes that it is one of the reasons for the slowdown of the automotive industry.

Grit Reifer suggested that one alternative would be hydrogen. “We had it already in the 90s that people tried to build cars powered by hydrogen. For me, it is not clear what will be the best solution in the end. There are people struggling with the idea of having only e-mobility,” she explained.

"So far diesel car is the cleanest solution today, but there should be a better solution. Big automotive companies are working on electrical vehicles but they also have to think about alternatives,” she continued. “If you change all the diesel cars today into electrical cars, there would not be enough materials to produce all the batteries. In China, a lot of people want to drive a car and you need much more materials.”

Grit Reifer commented that the automotive industry, which is in the crossroad, has affected HRSflow’s business, but the company also focuses on other areas such transportation, domestic appliances, housewares, etc.

There are always big needs for hot runners in these markets. We try to bring our business into better balance and not to only hang on to the automotive industry,” she remarked.

FLEXflow hot runner technology enables flawless surfaces

At the show, HRSflow presented challenging applications of its FLEXflow hot runner technology to improve the injection molding process.

These include examples for balanced Family Tools with extremely different part volumes, an extended cylinder range, the new SA series of nozzles for small shot weights, as well as HRScool, HRSflow’s innovative solution for hot runner injection molding in which water cooling of the associated actuators can be completely eliminated.

A family mold for the production of high quality upper and lower bumper parts in one shot was showcased. Both parts are molded using PP 14% talc and are characterized by large volume differences, i.e. 3333 cm³ and 2170 cm³ respectively.

The use of the FLEXflow technology enables flawless surfaces without any flow mark and an accurate control of deflection on each component. The mold is equipped with a twenty-one-nozzle, electrically-driven valve gate hot runner system including two angled nozzles.

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