We introduced the new mould generation

In week 13 of this year, mould making history was made at Ypsomed. The latest generation of injection moulds was successfully put into operation at the technical centre in Burgdorf. The injection mould in question was the Telescopic Look Sleeve, which was designed and built in-house for the first time as a 16-cavity mould. The special feature here is that the mould produces 32 moulded parts in a single injection cycle and assembles the two parts which belong together while still in the mould – and thus allows 16 assembled parts to be removed from the mould with a pick and place gripper.

The mould was designed by our own designer based on the extended MedGuyver concept “Telescopic Look Sleeve 8-fold”. The concept expanded to include a servo-electric motor, so that all movements of the injection mould are now operated by means of electric motors. Hence, the mould can be considered to be the first electrically controlled injection mould by in-house toolmaking. For this mould to be operated with today’s Engel injection moulding machines, the machine had to be upgraded from the standardised hydraulic drives to control by servo-electric motors.

For the initial commissioning of the electrical movements, specialists from the software, automation and electric motors division of Engel from Austria came to our technical centre in Burgdorf. They worked together with our injection moulding and tooling specialists who installed the mould and defined the optimal manufacturing process for the Telescopic Look Sleeve. As a result, the new mould concept was successfully put into operation within a week which brought a smile of relief to the faces of all those involved.

This new generation of injection moulds fills us with pride and has shown, that we are technically prepared to apply new technologies and are able to industrialise them in the shortest time possible.

Electric mould movements and their advantages

In the interview, Volkan Kurtis (Value Stream Manager Industrialisation) explains the advantage of electrically driven injection moulding movements compared to hydraulic movements.

What is the actual difference between these different procedures for performing movements on an injection mould?

Volkan Kurtis:

The conventional hydraulic movement components use hydraulic oil to transfer pressure from a pump on the injection moulding machine to a cylinder installed on the injection mould. This cylinder is then used for the required movement of the mould (milling, pulling cores, moving sliders). With the electric solution, there is no hydraulic pump and no pressure transmission via hoses on the machine. The electric motor is attached directly to the required location of the injection mould and used for the corresponding movement.

What are the advantages of using electric motors?

Volkan Kurtis:

Plenty! Hydraulic oil is and has been a problem in production. Leaks of hydraulic lines can happen quickly and contaminate the injection moulding machine and, in the worst case, the parts produced will also be contaminated with oil. Electric motors therefore help to significantly improve cleanliness in production and they require less maintenance over their life cycle, as there are no seals or hoses that need replacing from time to time. Furthermore, electric motors offer technological as well as energy-saving advantages, as demoulding forces can be measured and monitored with the electric motor. An electric motor makes it possible to travel very precise paths at high speeds, and this can prove to be quite decisive for an optimal injection moulding process.

And what is more energy-saving here?

Volkan Kurtis:

As the electric motor converts electrical energy directly into movement and does not have to convert electrical energy into hydrostatic pressure via a detour, as is the case with a hydraulic drive, the large energy loss which occurs with this conversion is eliminated. With hydraulic systems, it can be assumed that only 44% of the energy expended can be converted for the required movement, with electric motors this is usually 80%.

Then, from a technical as well as a sustainability point of view, one can speak of a complete success here?

Volkan Kurtis:

Yes indeed, and this is an important step in the right direction.