International MuCell Conference in November in Schwertberg

SuK in Germany annually produces close to 30 million housing components for door locks using the MuCell foam injection process. During the ENGEL MuCell Conference this November in Schwertberg, SuK’s Chief Representative Martin Witulski will report on his

The topic of Industry 4.0 is a main focus of the upcoming International MuCell Conference, from November 21 to 22, at ENGEL in Schwertberg, Austria.

The injection moulding machine manufacturer is hosting this strongly practice-oriented event in cooperation with its technology partner Trexel, and is expecting more than 100 participants.

“Self-optimising injection moulding machines are opening up a tremendous potential to further increase the stability of MuCell foam injection moulding processes. So far, this potential is being used far too rarely”, says Wolfgang Kienzl, Technology Specialist at ENGEL.

It is therefore the goal of the event in November to present the new possibilities and to make the associated available technologies tangible. In his lecture, Kienzl will present the results of a currently ongoing series of experiments that are concerned mainly with the impact of iQ weight control on the foam injection moulding process.

During the injection process, the iQ weight control software from the inject 4.0 programme of ENGEL analyses the pressure curve over the screw position in real-time and compares the measured values online with a reference cycle in order to adjust the switch-over point and the injection profile to current conditions, shot by shot.

The result is an injection volume that remains consistent throughout the entire duration of the production, independent of fluctuations in the environment or raw material.

“As a rule, fluctuations in shot weight are higher in the foaming process than in compact injection moulding“, says Kienzl. “We are therefore expecting a high degree of positive influence on the consistency of the production process and product quality.”

During the conference, a victory injection moulding machine equipped with iQ weight control will produce MuCell components in ENGEL’s technology centre. The CC300 control of the machine is capable of simulating process fluctuations; allowing for the automatic readjustment by iQ weight control to be tracked live on the display of the machine.

Automotive supplier reports on its practical experiences

The other lectures will address the basics of injection moulding, the machine and mould technology that it requires, well-established and innovative material systems as well as the newest insights in research and development.

In addition to ENGEL and Trexel, the speakers on these topics come from GK Concept, SimpaTec, sauer product, LyondellBasell Industries, Borealis and the Johannes Kepler University in Linz.

As is customary at ENGEL events, the practical side has not been overlooked. “We are pleased that with SuK Kunststofftechnik, we have gained a major automotive supplier as a lecturer”, says Michael Fischer, Head of Business Development Technologies at ENGEL.

Martin Witulski, Chief Representative of SuK, will report on his experiences and provide conference attendees with insights into his manufacturing strategy. At its headquarters in Kierspe, Germany, SuK annually produces close to 30 million housing components for door locks using the MuCell foam injection process.

SuK customers include BMW, Daimler, Volkswagen, Ford and PSA, among others. In order to combine outstanding product quality with the highest efficiency and availability, SuK relies on highly automated, integrated injection moulding system solutions, and is increasingly setting its sights on Industry 4.0 solutions for the future.

The lectures during the two-day conference will be held in German or English and simultaneously translated into the respective other language.

Less weight, better component properties

For many years, the MuCell conferences have generated some of the highest demand of all the events in ENGEL’s calendar, emphasising the increasing significance of foam injection moulding technology.

“The most important driver of this trend is the automotive industry“, states Fischer. “In addition, the technology is also being increasingly used in other sectors, for example in the areas of technical injection moulding and medical technology.”

Physical foaming using MuCell involves injecting a propellant into the plastic melt during plasticising, which results in the formation of a fine-celled foam structure after injection into the mould.

In comparison to the standard injection moulding process, this method reduces the raw material required to fill the mould and the weight of the component. At the same time, components produced by MuCell have proven to be extremely dimensionally stable.

MuCell is a brand of the Trexel company, based in Wilmington, USA. As a systems provider, ENGEL imports MuCell systems for its customers, also managing the integration of the controls and safety measures into the injection moulding machine, making it particularly easy to implement the technology.

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