If you already own hydraulic IMM (Injection Molding Mac […]
If you already own hydraulic IMM (Injection Molding Machines), it will be a lot easier for you to understand.
The following are some observations you may have already made with respect to molding in your current set up:
Large oil consumption of the machine.
Oil leakages (minor) are very common and almost standard across all IMM’s.
Successive molding cycles also have some variation in part weights, 0.1–0.5g even on decent machines. Even more on lower quality machines depending on brand and specification.
Therefore even the dimensional accuracy suffers from shot to shot.
Electrical consumption is much higher and a lot of electricity is wasted.
Keeping the above in mind, giving the advantages of all-electric machines are very obvious and are intended for the following scenarios:
Oil free environment - and a must for clean room applications like pharmaceuticals, biotech, and stringent food container or related set ups where no dirt, contamination is allowed on the shop floor and almost all processes are automated via robots.
Part weight variation is extremely low that it can be ignored.
Dimensional accuracy is top notch, this is extremely useful for automotive and mechanical parts where fitment and interworking of parts is extremely sensitive, critical or too expensive to afford any mistakes.
Most military grade products using plastic or even parts used for nuclear reactors, etc. are made on extremely high quality all-electric machines.
In the long term, lower electricity consumption is also considered as a factor to go in for all-electric, however note that in a lot of cases, the savings on electricity does not justify the premium on an all-electric vs a hydraulic.
In terms of brands, its difficult because each person prefers a different company depending on price, availability, serviceability, quality, and convenience. I could prefer aMercedes and you could prefer a BMW but we’d be more or less on par with each other. That said, the most popular brands with the best quality in molding would be:
There are many other excellent options, but in my opinion these are the top of the lot with the Top 3 (IMO) being a class apart.
If your transition from Hydraulic to Electric is for:
Quality Improvement -
unless you have critical requirements or till the price of technology doesn’t come down, it may not be very useful.
quality improvement should ideally start from the Mold, invest in better quality molds (look at Korea, Taiwan, Germany for some of the best high quality mold makers)
look at auxiliaries that can help the final part quality - MTC’s, Chillers, Dehumidifiers, Pre-heating chambers.
Cost Savings -
The electrical consumption varies from part to part and mold to mold. Some molds have exceptional savings while others not so much. Most all-electric machine manufacturers will help you understand in detail if the savings are significant for your application.
Typically, switching from Hydraulic to VDP (vacuum displacement pumps) can save upto 20–30%. And from the there to true Servo Based systems can save another 5–15%. Once you reach Servo systems, the delta between there to All-Electric isn’t very significant however the cost certainly is. So maybe a good transition would be to first target Servo based systems before moving to All-Electric.
Depending on your industry, and the premium you charge for your products, it may still be worth considering all-electric, however in my experience such cases are very rare and not taken up eventually unless the customer or application demands it.