Maximum output with minimal energy consumption: A fully automated e-cap injection moulding machine, equipped with a 96-cavity mould, will be producing 26-mm caps including tamper-proof bands at a cycle time of under 2.5 seconds. Photo: ENGEL

Production efficiency at its peak

| Caps & Closures | Engel | Schwertberg | Austria

ENGEL will set a new standard of efficiency in the highly integrated production of beverage caps In collaboration with partner companies, the injection moulding machine manufacturer and systems provider based in Schwertberg, Austria, will present a complete system solution.

Under actual production conditions and at a cycle time of under 2.5 seconds, a production cell will deliver 26-mm caps made of HDPE and including tamper-proof bands. The system scores with outstanding energy efficiency and highest degree of process consistency. At the core of the highly integrated solution is an ENGEL e‑cap 2440/380 injection moulding machine with a clamping force of 3800 kN. A 96-cavity mould by Corvaglia from Eschlikon in Switzerland will be used. ENGEL has integrated additional peripherals into the system including a DMS dry-air system by Blue Air Systems (Kundl, Austria), a TWIN model cap inspection system by IMDvista (Brügg, Switzerland),  and material handling units by Piovan (S. Maria di Sala VE, Italy). The hot-runner temperature control is made by S.i.S.e. (Oyonnax, France), and partners for the raw materials are Borealis, (Vienna, Austria)  and Gabriel Chemicals (Gumpoldskirchen, Austria).

“In terms of geometry, beverage caps have reached their lightweighting minimum. This means that the demands on the precision and repeatability of injection moulding machines are higher than ever before”, says Frank Schuster, Sales Director of ENGEL packaging, describing a trend that is often decisive in the design of injection moulding machines and production cells for cap production. In addition, the sensitivity of producers to energy efficiency continues to increase. In order to meet both challenges, ENGEL is focusing on all-electric high performance machines for cap production. With clamping forces of 1,100 to 4,200 kN, the ENGEL e-cap series was developed specifically for this market segment.

As a complete system, the production cell represents the state-of-the-art in highly efficient cap production. Both Blue Air Systems and IMDvista will be presenting their latest innovations at the ENGEL booth. The DMS series devices by Blue Air Systems allow for higher product quality and energy savings of up to 85 percent as compared to conventional mould dehumidifiers. What makes this series special is that it works without water. Without pre-cooling, it guarantees condensation-free production conditions regardless of the weather and the climate zone. 

With its TWIN flying closure system, IMDvista has solved one of the biggest challenges in the inline-inspection of beverage caps. Usually, the freshly produced caps undergo camera inspection while lying on a conveyor belt. This means that the top side of the caps cannot be viewed by the cameras. With the new technology, caps are lifted by a stream of air, and can thus be inspected from above and below without extending processing time.

In addition to the injection moulding machine, automation, peripherals, and mould, software products for digitalisation and networking are more and more often part of the package. “Industry 4.0 is opening up huge opportunities for even higher efficiency and quality”, clarifies Schuster. “We support our customers in realising this potential.”

Under the inject 4.0 name, ENGEL offers a comprehensive range of products and solutions for the three areas of the smart factory. The first products entered the market many years ago and have become well-established worldwide. ENGEL is consistently developing the inject 4.0 programme and will clearly demonstrate its new opportunities and possibilities at the Drinktec 2017. Among other things, the focus will be on MES authentig. 

authentig was developed by T.I.G. Gesellschaft für Informationssysteme GmbH, which has now been part of the ENGEL Group for a year. With the integration of T.I.G. into the ENGEL Group, the companies have combined their MES know-how and their many years of experience with MES projects worldwide, thereby achieving innovation at an even higher pace. 

Hall A4.324