ENGEL set new standards with the presentation of the first all-electric e-cap injection moulding machine at K 2010. Until then, hydraulic machines using accumulators for the injection movement were the standard for the production of caps. The all-electric drive technology in this field of application was a revolution at the time. To date, the e-cap is the most energy-efficient cap machine on the market and at the same time the only high-performance machine tailored to the requirements of the caps and closures industry providing all-electric operation even with a clamping force range as high as 4,200 kN. With an average ROI of less than two years, the e-cap has quickly established itself worldwide since its market launch.
Highest dynamic performance with frequent load changes
“Since 2010, the requirements for beverage caps have changed substantially”, as Friedrich Mairhofer, Product Manager for all-electric injection moulding machines at ENGEL, explains. This is why the continuous further development of e-cap now is being integrated into a next generation machine. Continuous part weight reductions play a central role. “For still water, caps with a weight of significantly less than one gram are produced today,” says Mairhofer. “As a result, the cooling and cycle times have continued to drop. Where the cycle times ten years ago were still 2.5 seconds, today's cap machines need to be able to produce at 2-second intervals and faster.” When developing the new generation of machines, the main focus was therefore both on performance and on stability. The new e-cap achieves even faster mould opening and closing movements and is designed with an even more stable machine bed for more frequent load cycles.
Ejector drives amplified with booster
An e-cap 2440/380 is demonstrating the series' new performance achievements by producing 29/25 caps in a 96-cavity mould by Plastisud. The shot weight is 1.3 grams per cavity with a cycle time of less than 2 seconds. An HDPE from Borealis/Borouge is processed. The system is equipped with camera-supported 100 percent quality inspection by IMDvista and a dry air system by Eisbär. Further system partners are Piovan, PackSys Global and PSG.
The reinforced frame and the reinforced mould mounting platens on the new e-cap ensure excellent stability of the machine movements even with extremely short cycles and very small shot volumes. The result is outstanding reproduction of surface detail and a maximum number of good parts.