Table of Contents
- What is IMM Injection Moulding Machine?
- Types of IMM Injection Moulding Machines
- Full-electric IMM
- Hybrid IMM
- Servo-hydraulic IMM
- Standard hydraulic IMM with variable-displacement pump
- How to Choose the Best IMM Injection Moulding Machine for Your Application
What is IMM Injection Moulding Machine?
An IMM injection moulding machine, also known as an injection press, is a machine that produces plastic parts by injecting molten material into a mould. The machine consists of two main parts: an injection unit and a clamping unit. The injection unit melts the plastic material and injects it into the mould under high pressure. The clamping unit holds the mould closed and applies force to keep the moulded part in shape until it cools down.
IMM injection moulding machines are widely used in various industries, such as automotive, medical, packaging, consumer goods, electronics, and more. They can produce complex and precise parts with high quality and efficiency.
Types of IMM Injection Moulding Machines
A full-electric IMM is a machine that has all its main axes (clamp movement, injection, and metering/plasticating) driven by servo motors. Servo motors are electric motors that can control the speed, torque, and position of the axes with high accuracy and responsiveness. A full-electric IMM has many advantages over other types of machines, such as:
- Higher energy efficiency: A full-electric IMM can use up to 70% less energy than a hydraulic machine, as it does not have any pumps or valves that waste energy. It can also recover kinetic energy from decelerating axes and feed it back into the machine or the grid.
- Higher precision and repeatability: A full-electric IMM can achieve better control over the process parameters, such as injection speed, pressure, and position, resulting in more consistent and accurate parts.
- Higher speed and productivity: A full-electric IMM can operate faster than a hydraulic machine, as it does not have any delays or losses caused by oil compressibility or viscosity. It can also perform simultaneous movements of multiple axes, reducing cycle time and increasing output.
- Lower maintenance and noise: A full-electric IMM does not require oil or filters, reducing maintenance costs and environmental impact. It also produces less noise and vibration than a hydraulic machine, improving working conditions and safety.
A hybrid IMM is a machine that has one or more of its main axes driven by hydraulics but has at least one electric-driven axis. For example, a hybrid machine may have a hydraulic clamp and injection unit but an electric metering unit. A hybrid machine combines some of the benefits of both electric and hydraulic machines, such as:
- Lower initial cost: A hybrid machine is usually cheaper than a full-electric machine, as it uses fewer servo motors and less wiring.
- Higher clamping force: A hybrid machine can achieve higher clamping force than an electric machine, as hydraulics can generate more pressure than electric motors.
- Higher flexibility: A hybrid machine can adapt to different applications and materials by changing the ratio of electric and hydraulic drives.
A servo-hydraulic IMM is a machine that has all its main axes driven by hydraulics but uses a servo motor to drive the hydraulic pump. The servo motor can adjust the speed and flow of the pump according to the demand of the hydraulic system. A servo-hydraulic IMM has some advantages over a standard hydraulic machine with a fixed-displacement pump, such as:
- Higher energy efficiency: A servo-hydraulic IMM can save up to 50% energy compared to a standard hydraulic machine, as it only uses as much oil as needed for each movement. It also reduces heat generation and cooling requirements.
- Higher precision and repeatability: A servo-hydraulic IMM can achieve better control over the process parameters, such as injection speed, pressure, and position, resulting in more consistent and accurate parts.
- Lower noise: A servo-hydraulic IMM produces less noise than a standard hydraulic machine, as it operates at lower speeds and pressures.
Standard hydraulic IMM with variable-displacement pump
A standard hydraulic IMM with a variable-displacement pump is a machine that has all its main axes driven by hydraulics and uses a variable-displacement pump with a swash plate to regulate the oil flow of the pump. The swash plate can be adjusted by the control system to match the current demand of the hydraulic system. A standard hydraulic IMM with a variable-displacement pump has some advantages over a standard hydraulic machine with a fixed-displacement pump, such as:
- Higher energy efficiency: A standard hydraulic IMM with a variable-displacement pump can save up to 30% energy compared to a standard hydraulic machine with a fixed-displacement pump, as it reduces the oil flow when the machine is idle or moving slowly.
- Higher reliability: A standard hydraulic IMM with a variable-displacement pump can reduce the wear and tear of the pump and valves, as it operates at lower pressures and temperatures.
How to Choose the Best IMM Injection Moulding Machine for Your Application
Selecting the best Injection Molding Machine (IMM) for your application is a critical decision that can significantly impact the success of your manufacturing process. With numerous options available in the market, it is essential to carefully assess your specific production needs and consider various factors to make an informed choice.
- Determine Production Requirements: Begin by evaluating your production requirements, including the type of products you need to manufacture, the required production volume, and any special features or specifications. Understanding your production needs will help you determine the appropriate tonnage, clamping force, and shot size of the IMM that can handle your specific workload efficiently.
- Material Compatibility: Consider the types of materials you will be using in your manufacturing process. Different IMM models may be designed to process specific types of plastic resins or materials. Ensure that the IMM you choose is compatible with the materials required for your application.
- Injection Speed and Pressure: Evaluate the injection speed and pressure capabilities of the IMM. The injection speed influences the cycle time and the quality of the final product, while the injection pressure affects the flow and filling of the mold cavity. Depending on the complexity of your products, you may need an IMM with adjustable injection speed and pressure settings.
- Clamping Unit and Mold Size: The clamping unit’s size and specifications should match the dimensions of the molds you will be using. Consider the maximum mold size that the IMM can accommodate and ensure it can handle the size and complexity of the molds required for your products.
- Energy Efficiency: Energy efficiency is an important consideration in modern manufacturing. Look for IMM models equipped with energy-saving features, such as servo motor systems, variable pump drives, or energy-efficient heating elements. An energy-efficient IMM can lead to significant cost savings over time.
- Control System: The control system of the IMM is crucial for the smooth operation of your manufacturing process. Look for machines with user-friendly interfaces, advanced control panels, and comprehensive monitoring and control capabilities. A reliable control system ensures precise and consistent production, allowing for easy adjustment of parameters as needed.
- Technical Support and Service: Choose an IMM from a reputable manufacturer that provides comprehensive technical support and after-sales service. Access to expert technical assistance and readily available spare parts ensures minimal downtime in case of maintenance or repairs, maximizing productivity.
- Price and ROI: While cost is a significant factor, it is essential to consider the overall return on investment (ROI) when selecting an IMM. A higher initial investment in a more advanced and efficient IMM may lead to better long-term value through improved productivity, energy savings, and reduced maintenance costs.
- Safety Features: Safety is paramount in any manufacturing process. Look for IMM models with robust safety features, such as safety guards, interlock systems, and emergency stop buttons, to ensure the safety of operators and prevent accidents.
In conclusion, choosing the best IMM for your application requires careful evaluation of your production requirements, material compatibility, injection speed, clamping force, energy efficiency, control system, technical support, and safety features. By considering these factors and working with reputable manufacturers or suppliers, you can invest in a reliable and efficient IMM that meets your specific needs, enhances productivity, and ensures the success of your injection molding process.
IMM injection moulding machines are versatile and powerful machines that can produce high-quality plastic parts for various applications. However, not all machines are created equal, and there are different types of machines based on the drive technology that powers their main axes. Each type of machine has its own advantages and disadvantages, and you need to consider your specific needs and preferences before choosing the best one for your application. We hope this article has given you some useful information and insights on the different types of IMM injection moulding machines and how to choose the best one for your application.