Austrian machinery group Engel says it is supplying injection moulding systems to BMW's Leipzig factory in Germany to make lightweight components for car body shells.
The Leipzig facility is where the BMWi3 electric car is being produced for launch later this year, but Engel was not able to confirm its new machines will be used for BMWi3 body parts.
Engel said in a press release that its latest delivery to BMW Leipzig are two Duo injection moulding machines with clamping forces of 4,000 and 2,700 tonnes. These are high performance machines that are also equipped with Engel’s energy-saving system called ecodrive, because sustainability is another main aspect of the project.
The company is not able to reveal how many machines it is supplying to BMW due to confidentiality reasons, but it said in its release that the injection moulding processing cells in Leipzig are each made up of two large-scale Duo machines of the same clamping force which have been installed back-to-back to create double systems.
Engel said: “In master/slave mode, both machines can be controlled together so that two components are injection moulded and completed simultaneously. The bodywork components will however only comply with the high quality requirements if they both undergo exactly the same aging process after the injection moulding stage.”
The set-up allows production flexibility as the machines which have been linked together can also be separated from each other and fitted with different moulds.
Engel said it has equipped the machines with multi-axis robots, a menu-driven mould changing feature, a system display screen, and data tracing. “The huge range of parts which the manufacturing cells will be making in the future was taken into consideration from the very beginning,” it said.