Corona, California – Innovations in liquid silicone, cube moulds, in-mould decoration and Industry 4.0 were featured in a technical symposium at Engel North America’s Corona technical centre.
Markus Lettau, West region sales manager for Engel North America, presided at the 13 Jan symposium.
In liquid silicone, Bluestar Silicones USA Corp. has developed fast-curing self-bonding self-lubricating LSR Select in a conceptual change from traditional systems for two-part liquid silicone rubber injection moulding.
“LSR Select shifts control to an inline process from chemistry,” and is “adjustable to optimise the curing process,” said Umar Latif, Bluestar Silicones technical services manager for North American elastomerics markets.
Bluestar and Graco Inc. of Minneapolis partnered in the custom design of novel equipment with servo pumps for close control over LSR Select formulation and processing.
Kipe Moulds Inc. of Placentia, Calif., made tools, and Roembke Manufacturing & Design Inc. of Ossian, Ind., conducted trials with one-cavity prototype moulds for a matt seal connector, duck bill valve, solution seal and baby bottle nipple. Latif said cure time reductions ranged from 20 percent to 50 percent.
The development in the York, S.C., technical centre is applicable to other global locations of Bluestar Group. The centre opened in 2012 and utilises two Engel injection moulding machines.
Brush manufacturing equipment maker Boucherie Borghi Group of Izegem, Belgium, is nearing introduction of a new generation of its Flexi-Cube technology.
The development will “further enhance our design and provide more flexibility,” said Sherman McGinnis, injection mould sales manager for Boucherie USA Inc. in Knoxville, Tenn.
The current Flexi-Cube contrasts with traditional cube moulds. Parts move about the Flexi-Cube’s centre section, have flexible travel distances and achieve transfer times as low of 0.7 of a second per station. In a standard cube mould, the entire centre section rotates with movements restricted to 90 degrees or 180 degrees.