Above: Sumitomo (SHI) Demag develops, designs and builds all of its direct drives in-house


Sumitomo (SHI) Demag says its IntElect machines reduce process downtime and part scrap rates

precision. Increasing moulding reliability and repeatability, while simultaneously reducing energy consumption when compared to belt drives, the technology also reduces maintenance and un- scheduled downtime costs. Tailored to the exact requirements of injection moulding machines, the company adds that it designs and builds its own drive motors in-house and has an R&D centre entirely dedicated to drive development. Drawing power only when it is needed, a direct drive delivers higher injection power and a more dynamic response, the company says. Direct drive technology is also more energy-efficient than conventional belt drive solutions and when compared to hydraulic drives. In many instances energy savings exceeding 70% can be achieved and even faster cycle times. Kinetic energy can also be recovered and reused. For example, while the clamping unit is braking, energy generated can be used for plasticisation. Sumitomo (SHI) Demag reports that many of its customers are keen to opt for more energy-efficient systems. But until recently, machinery suppliers have struggled to quantify and compare perfor- mance data in relation to energy consumption, investment and planned maintenance costs, mould wear and output quality. To help with these, the company has launched a new testing service. More than 300 performance measurements were already being undertaken for customers annually. However, due to its popularity, an investment was made in three new Fluke energy monitoring devices to extend this service. Plugging the tool into existing machines, including legacy and competitor moulding systems, the company conducts the energy tests on-site using a real production scenario. Calculating the energy used in kilowatts for each kilogramme of raw material converted, the

18 INJECTION WORLD | June 2021

team then provides the customer with a credible comparison if they were to purchase a newer Sumitomo (SHI) Demag machine. In order to get a like-for-like comparison, engineers run the same product before and after new kit is installed, with all ancillary equipment plugged in. As well as looking at energy perfor- mance, the tests also examine other factors includ- ing the parallel movements and the impact of drive cycle times on output. The results are compiled into a report that presents companies with robust data that can be included in annual CSR reports. Sumitomo (SHI) Demag illustrates the service with two customer case studies. UK-based McLaren Plastics used the new test service to measure the energy savings realised after replacing two legacy hydraulic machines with two all-electric IntElect machines. One of the performance benchmarks was for a packaging black end cap. The investment resulted in the business saving 60% of its energy bill – in excess of £7,000 per year (US$9,900/€8,100). Significant energy savings were also one of the benefits demonstrated by a series of hydraulic versus all-electric like-for-like tests undertaken by Sumitomo (SHI) Demag for Essentra Components, a UK injection moulder with 14 facilities worldwide. The tests also showed consistency of process, large cycle time savings, reduced scrap rates and enhanced workforce health and safety. As Essentra Components’ first all-electric moulding machine installation, the company tested the IntElect 50-tonne machine, trialling over 50 different applications and tools. Performing tests against the same tonnage hydraulic machine of similar specification, Divisional Process Develop- ment Manager Chris Butler disclosed that both the all-electric cycle times and energy savings sur- passed his expectations.



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