Austrian injection molding manufacturer ENGEL reported on March 8 that automaker BMW's Leipzig, Germany factory has taken delivery of two ENGEL injection molding machines to manufacture lightweight components for car body shells.
"Lightweight construction and injection moulding are key concepts for meeting the increasing demands of the transport and mobility sectors. ENGEL recognised this as a trend of the future early on and therefore placed a great deal of emphasis on basing the further development of its machines and technologies for the car industry on it", says Dr Peter Neumann, CEO of ENGEL Holding in Schwertberg, Austria. "The order from BMW shows that we are seen by the car industry as the leading provider when it comes to lightweight construction."
The delivery consists of ENGEL duo injection molding machines with clamping forces of 4,000 and 2,700 tonnes. One special feature of the injection molding processing cells in Leipzig is that they are each made up of two large-scale ENGEL duo machines which have been installed backto-back to create double systems. 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.
Machines that have been linked together can also be separated from each other and fitted with different molds. This increases the availability of the systems and enables them to guarantee a high degree of production flexibility.
All the injection moulding machines are equipped with industrial multiaxis robots, and as the general contractor for the manufacturing cells, ENGEL took responsibility for ensuring that automation was incorporated in the solution it provided BMW with. This included a menu-driven mold changing feature, a system display screen and data tracing. The range of parts which the manufacturing cells will be making in the future was taken into consideration from the beginning, says ENGEL.