Website News - Press Release
11th July 2003
Indestep International has combined its patented design of an 8 station rotary injection moulding machine with the expertise of Plasthing in hot runner system design for special applications. The result is a unique machine with an injection unit that has an integrated hot runner system that allows direct injection into the cavity or cavities without the need of a hot runner in each mould. Major benefit is substantially reduced tooling costs as the hot runner is purchased just once with the moulding machine with further savings achieved by the use of standard base plates on the rotary table allowing the use of interchangeable cavities.
Chief Executive and owner of Indestep, David Brent, approached a number of hot runner manufacturers with a view to forming a strategic alliance to complete the development of the machine of which the integrated hot runner is a major feature. Plasthing were chosen as the company was able to provide the hot runner knowledge and equally important, based upon the injection moulding expertise of the company’s employees, had the ability to contribute to some of the design features of the machine.
Indestep chose the rotary machine concept to take advantage of the multiple functions that can take place at the same time at different stations such as printing and insert moulding combined with the well known advantage of reduced cycle time when cooling is the major proportion of the moulding cycle. The addition of a second injection unit at another of the 8 stations for two material moulding makes the machine a competitive alternative to conventional injection moulding machines for such applications as dual material caps and closures and medical parts, two of the company’s target markets.
Any of the Plasthing range of hot runner manifolds and injection bushings can be integrated with the machine’s injection units including valve gate, 240 volt externally heated open flow, internally heated 24-volt thermocouple cartridge heater bushings and edge gates. Of particular note is the IC multi-tip bushing that can have up to 4 independently controlled tips/feed gates within a single bushing body with feed centres down to 9mm. This allows the type of injection bushings used at each injection station to be determined by the application. For example, valve gate bushings would be fitted at the station moulding TPE for soft touch and sealing applications with conventional thermal break bushings used at the station moulding the base material.
Technical parts and value added mouldings such as printed and insert mouldings are envisaged as prime markets for the machine as robotics can be readily positioned at the stations for placement of inserts, pre-printed film or foil and for removal of mouldings. For technical moulding reinforced engineering thermoplastics are generally used dictating the use of Plasthing titanium nitride treated injection bushings to minimise the wear problems associated with such materials.
Initial models of the machine that are expected to be available in the third quarter of this year will be in the range of 50-100 tons and as the design is modular there is the facility to supply standard and customized versions. This ability combined with the unique injection system, the advantages of the rotary table and a fast table indexing speed makes the machine a flexible and viable economic alternative to conventional high speed injection moulding machines.
The Indestep Injection Moulding Machine is aimed at reversing the trend in which U.K. moulding work goes offshore and then we see the parts being imported back into the U.K.