Industry 4.0 focus of international MuCell conference

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Photo by ENGEL SuK annually produces close to 30 million housing components for door locks using the MuCell foam injection process. During the ENGEL MuCell Conference this November in Schwertberg, SuK's Chief Representative Martin Witulski will report on his experience.

Together with its technology partner Trexel, Engel is once again hosting the international MuCell conference in Schwertberg, Austria, which this year will take place from November 21 to 22. The main topic is Industry 4.0.

"Self-optimising injection moulding machines are opening up a tremendous potential to further increase the stability of MuCell foam injection moulding processes. So far, this potential is being used far too rarely", says Wolfgang Kienzl, Technology Specialist at Engel.

Kienzl will present the results of the ongoing series of experiments aimed at establishing the impact of Engel’s iQ weight control technology on the foam injection moulding process.

During the injection process, the iQ weight control software, developed within the scope of Engel’s inject 4.0 programme, analyses the pressure curve over the screw position in real-time and compares the measured values online with a reference cycle. Shot by shot, it enables the switch-over point and the injection profile to be adjusted to current conditions. The result is an injection volume that remains consistent throughout the entire duration of the production, independent of fluctuations in the environment or raw material. 

During the conference, a victory injection moulding machine equipped with iQ weight control will produce MuCell components at the company’s technology centre. The CC300 control of the machine is capable of simulating process fluctuations; allowing for the automatic readjustment by iQ weight control to be tracked live on the display of the machine.

The line-up features speakers from GK Concept, SimpaTec, sauer product, LyondellBasell Industries, Borealis and the Johannes Kepler University in Linz, who will address topics including the basics of injection moulding, machine and mould technology, various material systems and the newest insights in research and development. Martin Witulski, from automotive supplier SuK Kunststofftechnik, will discuss his company’s practical experience using the foaming technology.  

Physical foaming using MuCell involves injecting a propellant into the plastic melt during plasticising, which results in the formation of a fine-celled foam structure after injection into the mould. In comparison to the standard injection moulding process, this method reduces the raw material required to fill the mould and the weight of the component. At the same time, components produced by MuCell have proven to be extremely dimensionally stable.

MuCell is a brand of the Trexel company, based in Wilmington, USA. As a systems provider, ENGEL imports MuCell systems for its customers, also managing the integration of the controls and safety measures into the injection moulding machine, making it particularly easy to implement the technology.

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