Sumitomo (SHI) Demag expands packaging injection moulding machine portfolio
It is said commonly that good things come in three’s and that proves to be the case with Sumitomo (SHI) Demag unveiling three new fast-cycle packaging ranges in the last six months for its packaging injection moulding machine portfolio.
Comprising the new concept PAC-E, an El-Exis SP Servo range, plus a new IntElect S – all available in a variety of clamp forces – the new collection gives manufacturers of caps, closures, thin-walled and high performance moulded containers a fusion of the company’s very best technology, productivity and energy-enhancing features.
Rolling out to UK packaging converters and moulding firms during 2023, the expanded range reinforces the Group’s wider commitment to the circular packaging agenda and its delivery of sustainable value aligned to the key packaging market trends. Worth an estimated £4.6bn this year, and anticipated to grow by 4.2% in 2023i, the UK Plastics Packaging Goods Manufacturing industry is anticipated to return to growth, underpinned by ongoing product innovation in flexible packaging.
Indicative of the importance of the packaging market, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag revealed one of the most exciting developments in the last decade – the successful blend of its high-speed El-Exis packaging platform with the company’s IntElect all-electric series. PAC-E features a brand new injection unit specifically developed for high speed packaging applications.
The company says two critical innovations differentiate PAC-E from the company’s popular El-Exis hybrid packaging series. Notably, the solely electric-driven axes deliver up to 50 per cent in energy savings when measured against a high-speed hybrid packaging machine.
Additionally, the lubrication of the toggle lever no longer causes cleanliness issues; being a completely closed circuit design it is leak free. Oil is instead extracted, filtered and recycled. This eliminates the need to clean the toggle lever. Providing the added benefit of reducing oil consumption for customers.
With injection speed capabilities of up to 550 mm/s, the PAC-E packaging machine will initially be available in mid-tonnage clamping forces of 250 tons, 300 tons, 350 tons and 420 tons. Designed for thin-walled packaging applications, including food packaging with IML, UK packaging expert Ashlee Gough witnessed the unveiling at K 2022, when the PAC-E exhibit repeatably manufactured in a sub 2-second cycle time, 2,100+ HDPE beverage caps per minute, with an energy consumption of 0.32kWh/kg.
In another advancement of the high-speed El-Exis SP, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag also presents its new ‘servo pump’ variant. Available in the medium and high clamping force range and designed for thin-wall pails and containers, the sustainability merits are equally strong highlights Ashlee.
He expands: “With hybrid machines, the pump that charges the accumulator consumes approximately 50 per cent of the overall energy used to power every injection cycle. By replacing the conventional pump with a servo pump, we can now maintain the same performance but consume significantly less power.”
Initially, the El-Exis SP Servo series will be expanded in the medium clamping force range, comprising 250 to 420 tons. Larger clamp force machines will subsequently follow.
Fast-cycling for high-volume
Filling a critical gap in the mass-packaging market, the release of an IntElect S all-electric mid clamp force range now means moulders requiring cycle time speeds of between three to 12 seconds don’t need to compromise on any aspect of productivity, energy efficiency and processing speed and stability.
By expanding the IntElect S series, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag has now opened up the associated benefits of the all-electric moulding machine market to even more product applications. Positioned squarely between the conventional IntElect all-electric series and the new high-speed packaging injection moulding machine PAC-E, the IntElect S is geared specifically towards plastic processors mass-manufacturing narrow tolerance and thin-walled components at the fastest speeds.
“Cycle times of between three and twelve seconds and injection speeds of up to 350 mm/s are the typical range of this machine,” reports Ashlee. He draws special attention to the resilient, high performance drives, shorter clamp spindles and longer service life. Culminating in faster acceleration of the injection speed to achieve on average a one second cycle time saving when compared to a standard IntElect model.
Benchmarking dry cycle times on thin wall packaging products with equivalent electric systems on the market, the IntElect S remains at the forefront of innovation and energy efficiency, assures Ashlee.
All three ranges within the Group’s expansive ‘precision and speed’ packaging portfolio are designed to incorporate future digital product passport technology. Ensuring detailed transparency on machinery performance and the measurement of carbon footprints.