Maplan at the DKT 2018back
Using an MTF vertical machine and MHF horizontal machine combined with handling robots, processing peripherals and the C6000 machine control unit, trade visitors will gain a representative insight into both the technical status of Maplan’s elastomer injection moulding machinery and prospects for increasing production efficiency.
Maplan the company will be presenting themselves with a positive new outlook and direction to the future at this year’s DKT, in comparison to the DKT 2015. The milestones that led to this were the decision to establish a new production plant with 100% more production capacity in Kottingbrunn, around 30 km south of Vienna, and to move the company headquarters there from Ternitz in mid-2016. Just one year later, in mid-2017, Maplan opened another production facility in Wujin, Changzhou in the People’s Republic of China, in order to meet the growing demand for high-end rubber injection moulding machinery there. In addition, capacities were also expanded in the USA and the branch’s workforce was increased. Alongside the overseas capacity expansions, Maplan also invested in Europe again – in the construction of a mechanical component production plant in Slovakia, which opened in April 2018.
At the same time, the entire machinery fleet was also overhauled, expanded and combined with a new machine control unit (C600/C6000.web) which has universal communication capabilities. In 2017, the increased capacities and global economic upturn meant that Maplan’s revenue increased to 45 million euros – the highest value in the company’s history.
In light of this, Maplan will be introducing itself at the DKT as a completely new organisation with a clear future-oriented approach, rather than just the evolvement of a long-standing company.
Fully hydraulic MTF 1500/280 vertical machine including conveyor system
Maplan will be demonstrating the MTF 1500/280, a completly automated machining cell for manufacturing moulded rubber parts. The machine has a maximum injection volume of 1,500 ccm and a clamping force of 2,800 kN. It is part of the redesigned series of fully hydraulic vertical machines with a new, optimised clamping unit concept, which has been enhanced by a very ergonomic operating height, a minimal platen deflection and high level of plane parallelism. With a tie bar clearance of 680 mm, there is a lot of space for manual and automated manipulation of moulded parts. It is equipped with a 1500 cm³ FIFO injection unit, but could alternatively be combined with units of up to 4,000 cm³. Maplan is producing luggage tags as a give-away, using a multi-cavity mould with a valve gate cold runner from PETA Formenbau GmbH. To remove the parts from the mould, the cavity plate is extended using a sliding frame, the moulded parts are pneumatically demoulded before a conveyor belt takes the parts for further processing. The parts are further processed at successive work stations, and are arranged as a “conveyor belt” by to the “SuperTrack” transport system from B&R Industrial Automation. A 6-axis robot manipulates the parts. The processing chain along the SuperTrack transfer includes positioning the moulded parts, after-cooling, flexibly configurable printing (provided by Bluhm Systeme GmbH) and a final inspection by a COGNEX In-Sight vision system. The printed finished parts are unloaded by a 6-axis robot combined with a conveyor belt. Maplan exhibition visitors are warmly invited to come and collect a personalised sample from the exhibition stand. (Fig.1)
Horizontal machine for automated HTV silicone part production
The second exhibit is a Maplan horizontal machine MHF 700D/300 with 3000 kN clamping force and a 725 FIFO cm³ injection unit. The large support of the hydraulic clamping unit enables flexible securing of tools with large and small mould heights. For more demanding applications, for example in combination with cold runners, the machine offers space for up to 6 temperature control units that are integrated into the machine frame. The machine works with HTV silicone. A silicone stuffer unit with a hydraulic locking mechanism is used to supply the silicone to the plasticising unit. This produces ice cube trays using a 4-cavity cold runner mould from Franciacorta Stampi Srl. The 4-cold runner nozzles are each electrically controlled, allowing their filling behaviour to be adapted. A 6-axis robot from Stäubli Robotics, which is positioned directly on the injection side-machine platen to save space, uses a twofold Mexbert gripper system to extract the moulded parts and place them on a conveyor belt. (Fig.2)
Spotlight on Industry 4.0 and networked systems
In terms of Industry 4.0, the demonstrated uses show everything that is currently possible in the direct machine environment. The starting basis for this is the C6000.web machine control unit, which communicates with robots and peripheral devices via the OPC/UA industry-standard interface and can also be linked to MES systems to exchange data within company networks. This will be demonstrated in combination with an MES system (Manufacturing Execution System) from TIG. The machinery presentation will be rounded off by a demonstration of the Cure1 process control system’s potential. This system ensures a consistent quality of parts and harnesses maximum efficiency by reducing the heating period reserves. (Fig.3)