Husky displays high-speed in-mold labeling workcells Hylectric machine's 2.3-second cycle for food container sets new standard
For release 2005-11-22
DUDELANGE, Luxembourg — A Husky Hylectric 120 system molded 200 ml containers with in-mold labeling at a 2.3-second cycle at the company's Packaging Days event at its Luxembourg Technical Center, establishing a new performance benchmark.
Equipped with SwingChute label placement, the injection molding workcell is the result of a partnership between Husky and SysTec. Based on a Hylectric machine with a clamping force of 1,200 kN, it is the fastest IML system available today, allowing thinwall packaging molders to further lower their part costs.
Mechanical SwingChutes rather than a robot
The mold dwell time of 0.03 seconds or less is achieved with SwingChutes that rotate into position. The mechanical actuation of the SwingChutes allows them to be interlocked with the clamp movement, which prevents any mechanical interference. Even though the SwingChutes rotation is 1800, the clamp stroke is kept to a minimum using a combination of gears and cams. Using a servo motor to actuate the SwingChutes also minimizes the clamp stroke. A side-entry robot, on the other hand, would require the clamp to reach the open position before entering the molding area, increasing cycle time by at least 0.5 seconds.
The label transfer from the SwingChutes mandrel to the mold cavity is done entirely with vacuum for transfer speed and reliability. Using vacuum is a more positive hand-off approach and allows full freedom of label printing method, inks, colors and surface finish as the label does not need to hold an electrostatic charge. Moving vacuum core pins in the mold cavity allow a high vacuum air flow rate during label transfer for positive hand-off, while avoiding witness lines on the molded part and reducing the potential of vent clogging from label coatings.
The label feeding system is angled for a cost-effective and space-efficient approach. The angled label magazine extends outside the operator side machine gate for convenient label reloading. The magazine angle allows for a simple two position rotary label loading device for speed and label pre-position for transfer to the mold loading mandrel.
A separate SwingChute is used for part removal. The take-out arm maintains the part orientation, allowing the natural arm movement to load the part onto a stacking head. The stacking head rotates in a compound angle to provide for a horizontal container stack.
The mold and product handling are supplied by SysTec, an integrated supplier with years of experience in in-mold labeling applications.
Building on a long experience in packaging
Husky has served the packaging market since 1953 when the company made single-cavity vending cup molds. By 1962, Husky provided complete systems with 1,000 kN machines that ran at 60 cycles per minute.
Today this experience reflects in the design of Husky's machines and mold components, starting with the Hylectric high-performance packaging machine available with clamping forces from 1,200 to 10,000 kN. Its wide tiebar spacing favors the use of SwingChutes for automation instead of a separately mounted robot which would require additional floor space. This compact approach increases the output/floor space further reducing the part cost.
The Hylectric clamp offers the speed of a toggle with the stack mold flexibility of a hydro-mechanical design. The Reflex platen design in combination with the force applied to the center of the moving platen provides the lowest platen deflection in the industry, reducing mold wear and allowing thinner wall sections. The Hylectric range of machines spans RS units with an 18 mm screw to the largest two-stage configurations that provide 10,000 cm3/s instantaneous injection rate and a 600 kg/hr throughput of high-melt index PP.
The Hylectric's shot weight repeatability is within 0.5%. The Polaris PC-based integrated control provides an accurate injection profile control to maintain label integrity with core valve gating, as well as a repeatable clamp open position for reliable high-speed label placement and part pick up. Open position accuracy is within +/- 0.25 mm.
The labels were designed and supplied by P'Auer and provided consistent running at 2.3 seconds with scrap rates of less than 2%.
About Husky — Husky Injection Molding Systems (www.husky.ca) is a leading global supplier of injection molding equipment and services to the plastics industry. The company has more than 40 service and sales offices, supporting customers in over 100 countries. Husky's manufacturing facilities are located in Canada, the United States, Luxembourg and China.
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Husky Injection Molding Systems