Arburg’s new Allrounder offers molders a chance to do ‘More’

Arburg GmbH and Co. KG is introducing a new multi-component injection molding machine series with larger mold dimensions and ejector strokes and greater distances between the tie bars for producing plastic parts made from different materials and colors.

The Allrounder More press — named to reflect that it does more — has two injection units and a clamping force of either 160 tons or 200 tons.

The machine is suitable for a wide range of industries and is one of the stars of Arburg’s showcase featuring nine machines at the Fakuma 2021 trade fair.

In general, multi-component injection molding improves design and functionality. The first multi-component products in the 1960s included two-color typewriter keys and telephone dials.

Today, injection molded parts for medical technology, electromobility or lightweight construction are produced with integrated functions, sandwich structures — with either foamed or recycled material on the inside — inserts and in hard-soft combinations.

Multi-component molding can be a very demanding process, according to Gerhard Böhm, Arburg’s managing director of sales and service.

“As a pioneer in this sector, we have more than 60 years of technical applications-based expertise. Our ultra-modern range of machines has been developed upon this foundation,” Böhm said.

In 1961, Arburg patented the Allrounder principle, making it possible to use two injection units on one machine for the first time.

Six decades later, the first Allrounder More machines are available for order, according to Juergen Giesow, director of technology and after sales service for Arburg Inc.

“The Allrounder More series is suitable for products in two combined materials or colors produced on molds that match the machine size. This includes many industries, such as automotive, medical technology, technical injection molding, electronics, etc. Typical examples are haptically appealing handles or operating elements in hard-soft combination, multicolored toothbrushes and much more,” Giesow said in an email.

A demonstration video on the Arburg website shows production of a blue and white toothbrush handle with a smooth neck and textured finger grips. Giesow said the white base body of the toothbrushes is made of polypropylene and the handle is made of colored TPE, which is a typical hard-soft combination for a better feel and appearance.

At Fakuma, the Allrounder More 2000 demonstrated a medical technology application by producing a so-called “lab-on-a-chip” from transparent polycarbonate in white and blue using assembly injection molding.

“In this process, a housing and a flat component with microfluidic channels are assembled directly in the mold and in a next step are overmolded to form a seal,” Giesow said.

The chip parts can be molded in a cycle time of 45 seconds. Then, a robotic system (Multilift V 30) transfers the parts to a rotary table for inspection. Each product is examined optically.

The Allrounder More was designed with more free space for the mold, ejector, rotary units and media connections. The tie-bars were extended by 200 millimeters as standard and the moving mold mounting platen has been enlarged by 200 millimeters. The distance between tie-bars is 570 x 570 millimeters, and the maximum platen daylight is1,200 millimeters. The sliding guard has also been widened by 400 millimeters. All these features combined provide accessibility to the mold area.

The column distance and platen distance are a measure of the maximum size of the molds to be installed and how accessible this area is for setup and maintenance.

“This is therefore a very decisive specification, especially also for multi-component applications where molds are often used that are comparatively complex, for example, due to additional turning or stack turning technology, Geisow said.

The Allrounder More machines offer electric clamping with flexible injection. All the presses are equipped with an electric toggle-type clamping unit with energy-efficient liquid-cooled servo motors.

The machine series is launching with one horizontal and one vertical injection unit (V-position) as standard.

In the V position, one injection unit is positioned horizontally and the second, usually smaller unit, vertically.

“This position covers around 75 percent of all two-component applications,” Giesow said.

In the future, it will be possible to select injection positions using modules for all common two-component applications. Horizontal L-shaped (L-position), parallel vertical or parallel horizontal (P-position), and angular (W-position) injection units will be available as options.

The L-position, which is comprised of two horizontal injection units at a 90° angle to each other, is selected if the hall height is too low for a vertical injection unit or if a clean air module or robotic system has to be positioned above the clamping unit.

If there is not enough space available for an L-position, the W-position is an alternative, usually with a second injection unit arranged at a 45° angle. The P-position with two injection units directly next to each other is used mostly in Asia.

For ease of maintenance and use, the Allrounder More has plug-in media couplings for electrics, water and hydraulics. The cylinder module can be changed in a few easy steps

Also, the material is fed outside the mold area so it cannot be contaminated by granules. Hose guides aid routing and prevent possible chafing marks.

With its improved features and modular design, Arburg officials says the new Allrounder More series meets all the requirements of a modern multi-component machine.

“Arburg sees great potential for the Allrounder More,” Giesow said. “More space, more flexibility, more operating convenience, energy-efficient and liquid-cooled servo motors make the new series very attractive. How great the customer interest actually is will become clear at Fakuma 2021. That’s where the Allrounder More will celebrate its premiere and be presented to a broad audience for the first time.”

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