By David Shaw, ERJ staff
DÃ¼sseldorf, Germany - Injection moulding machine maker Rep has said its latest technology can cut cure time by 25 to 50 percent. Speaking at the K show in DÃ¼sseldorf, Rep spokesman Gilbert Greco said the company's Turbocure system can reduce cure times of rubber injected moulded parts by 50 percent, or even more, and at the same time improve quality.
This extraordinary claim is based on two distinct technologies from the company, named Fill Balancer and TempInverter. Both systems are based on technology developed by US company, Beaumont Technologies Inc. The deal was finalised in mid-October, so the agreement is still very new to both companies. Greco said the patents for TempInverter were deposited only in September. Greco said Rep has only introduced this to around 15 customers prior to the K event.
The system is relatively simple in nature. It is a purely geometric approach to modifying the temperature profile of the material as it emerges from the injection unit and then again in the runners. Rep signed a licence agreement in the last few weeks with Beaumont under which Rep sells the technology in the rubber industry, while Beaumont provides the detailed engineering design for each application.
Modifying the flow path of the rubber in the runners can improve the temperature distribution within the runner, and so improve flow rates, but more critically, can prevent large temperature variations in the rubber as it is injected into the mould cavity. Acording to data presented by Greco, rubber temperature at the centre of the mould cavity just after injection can be 50Â°C or more cooler than the temperature at the walls. This means the rubber in the middle has to be warmed before it can cure. Given the poor thermal properties of rubber, the new technique is especially beneficial where the rubber component is more than a centimetre or two thick.
Under the terms of the deal, Rep buys licences from BTI and sells them on to rubber moulding companies for a fixed fee of €3700 per mould tool.
Rep and Beaumont are so confident of the benefits of the idea that they offer a money-back guarantee on the licence. This does not cover work done to design the modifications to the mould, nor the cost of the machining on the moulds, but does cover the basic licence fee. Thus a company can make a trial for a few thousand Euro and no other risks. Rep can offer a machine to perform sample production, said Greco.
Greco said the engineering work can be done in less than a week. Greco commented that this is usually quicker than the time taken by legal advisors to agree the licencing deal on the mould tools.
Rep is currently demonstrating the technology at the K show. You can see it in action in hall 14, stand C57 at the DÃ¼sseldorf Messe. Beaumont Technologies is also there, in hall 13, stand B59
This is a brief introduction to the story. There will be a much longer feature in the next issue of ERJ
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