Improved sustainability Advanced Hot runner solutions increase flexibility and sustainability
At Moulding Expo 2023, Oerlikon HRS Flow will focus on an extensive range of hot runners tailored to small shot weights and the new Xp nozzle series for use in thin-wall injection moulding. Both support the trend towards greater sustainability by helping to reduce energy consumption in plastics processing.
Hot runner specialist Oerlikon HRS Flow has expanded its portfolio to include components for injection moulding of demanding parts with small shot weights in stable and reliable processes. The manufacturer now offers complete systems for this market segment, which require tight nozzle pitch solutions. These systems offer optimal colour change performance and easy system restart, reducing waste and increasing efficiency and sustainability.
With unique solutions, the new low shot weight system line covers market segments such as medical technology, thin-walled packaging, beverages, and home goods, e.g. caps produced in multi-cavity moulds, as well as beauty and personal care and technical applications. The latest version of the system is highly reliable for processing even biopolymers and PCR compounds. A version with a specially coated nozzle tip is available for processing highly corrosive polymers including flame retardant compounds. For demanding applications, Oerlikon HRS Flow uses its in-house additive manufacturing process SLM (Selective Laser Melting) technology to produce cooling circuits for all market segments. Thanks to the joint experience with sister brand Oerlikon Balzers, the company also offers innovative surface protection for all moulded part surfaces to increase their corrosion resistance.
For thin-wall injection moulding and stack moulds
The new Xp series of valve gate nozzles from Oerlikon HRS Flow is designed to withstand high filling pressures up to 2,200 bar and enables fast injection and cycle times in a stable process with high part weight consistency. An innovative, patent-pending solution for stack systems in thin-wall injection moulding has been developed. Assembly is extremely simplified and highly efficient thanks to a plug-and-play installation. This hot runner system, which enables the use of smaller injection moulding ma-chines, fits a maximum plate thickness of 220 mm. This allows perfectly symmetrical systems with up to 8 plus 8 drops to be supplied, with a minimum pitch between cavities of 65 mm and between nozzle and inlet of 120 mm.
Trendsetting for automotive applications
A trend in automotive interiors are interactive panels controlled by touch sensors, whose elements and information only become visible when there is activity. For their production in the IMD process (In-Mold-Decoration), the Flex Flow hot runner technology from Oerlikon HRS Flow with its servo-electric needle positioning is increasingly proving to be the tool of choice, because it enables precisely con-trolled, gentle and low-warpage overmoulding of the sensitive electronic components with high-quality surfaces at the same time.
Precision micro-injection moulding
3D-printed hot runner for large production runs
The cost- and energy-efficient applicability of Flex Flow for perfectly balanced family moulds, even with extremely different part volumes, ensures additional acceptance in this industry. This also applies to HRS Cool, Oerlikon HRS Flow’s solution for hot runner injection moulding, which eliminates the need for water cooling of the associated actuators.
Both technologies help to reduce the environmental footprint of the injection moulding process. This starts with the lower energy consumption of the servo-electric system compared to the hydraulic system and includes the ability to use smaller injection moulding machines and family moulds, reduce wall thicknesses and reduce scrap thanks to better process repeatability.
Oerlikon HRS Flow has recently made the operating software for controlling the Flex Flow hot runner systems even more intuitive and convenient. With the thoroughly revised Human Machine Interface (HMI) 4.0, systems with different nozzle types can be integrated and several parameter sets can be stored per mould. Extended possibilities exist for the individual control of the respective servo mo-tors for nozzle needle positioning and for monitoring process stability. In addition, specific user ac-counts for individual access authorisations can now be set up and managed. Thanks to the web connection, access to the control unit is possible regardless of location.
Turnkey moulding solutions
In close cooperation with sister company Oerlikon Balzers, innovative coating protection for perfect molded part surfaces can also be offered. One current application is BMW's iXe all-electric SUV, which uses Oerlikon Balzer's ePD technology (embedded PVD for Design parts). This forward-looking, environmentally friendly coating process can be used wherever high-quality, metallic-looking surfaces on plastic parts with intelligent functionality are required.