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Arburg at the Chinaplas: Premiere of the Freeformer in Asia


Industrial additive manufacturing: with the Freeformer and Arburg Plastic Freeforming (AKF), functional parts can be produced efficiently from standard granulate, without a mould.

• Complete product range: production of plastic parts, from one-off items to large volumes
• Injection moulding highlights: electric and hybrid Allrounders for medical and packaging technology applications
• Additive manufacturing: Freeformer available in Asia from the start of the Chinaplas 2015

Lossburg. From 20 to 23 May, at the Chinaplas 2015 in Guangzhou (Hall 5.1, stand 5.1A41), Arburg will present high-end injection moulding machines and the Freeformer for additive manufacturing to cover the entire production spectrum from one-off parts to mass-produced items. The company will also present the cost-effective injection moulding of mass-produced items for the medical and packaging industries with two Allrounder exhibits. Two Freeformers will demonstrate the potential of Arburg Plastic Freeforming for the industrial additive manufacturing of functional parts as one-off items or in multi-variant small-volume batches. The Asian sales launch of this innovative system for industrial additive manufacturing will coincide with the start of the trade fair.

"This year. the Freeformer will be a highlight on our exhibition stand and the Chinaplas will mark the start of sales in Asia. China is a dynamic, prosperous market which holds great potential for Arburg and the time is perfect to present this innovative product at one of the most influential international trade fairs," says Zhao Tong, Managing Director of the Arburg Organisation in China. He went on to explain that, "The Freeformer is designed for industrial applications and can achieve far more than a simple 3D printer. This new system for additive manufacturing is already much anticipated. Furthermore, we will be demonstrating two complex applications in the injection moulding sector for the medical technology and packaging industry."

Freeformer additively processes two components

With two Freeformers, Arburg will demonstrate how fully functional plastic parts can be additively manufactured from standard granulate using the Arburg Plastic Freeforming process based on 3D CAD data, without use of a mould. As with injection moulding, the granulate is first melted in a plasticising cylinder.

The second discharge unit can be used for an additional component in order to produce, for example, a part in different colours, with special tactile qualities, or as a hard/soft combination. Possible applications include e.g. bellows, hoses, sleeves, or flexible parts for robotic grippers. The supporting structures can subsequently be removed in a water bath.

Last year, the Freeformer received the internationally renowned Red Dot Award for outstanding industrial design. It thereby takes pride of place next to products from top brands such as Apple, Audi and Adidas.

This pioneering system is not only suitable for the additive manufacturing of one-off parts and small batches. Mass-produced parts can also be customised in conjunction with injection moulding and Industry 4.0 technologies. Arburg demonstrated the process for the first time at the Fakuma 2014 (Germany) using the example of office scissors featuring individualised lettering.

Packaging industry: Allrounder "Packaging" version

At the Chinaplas 2015, Arburg will present the "Packaging" version of a hybrid Allrounder designed specially for thin-walled applications in the packaging industry. The high-performance injection moulding machine from the Hidrive series offers high productivity and reduced energy consumption. A 2+2-cavity stack mould is used for the IML application. Compared to a conventional 4-cavity mould, stack mould technology permits the use of a smaller machine. The hybrid Allrounder 570 H with a clamping force of 1,800 kN produces four 200 ml margarine tubs in a cycle time of around 3.2 seconds. The automated process is performed by a two-axis robotic system. It inserts two so-called butterfly labels on both the fixed and moving mould platens and removes the finished parts from the central block.

Medical technology: electric Allrounder

Electric machines are ideal for the production of medical items due to their high precision, speed and low-emission operation. In Guangzhou, an electric Allrounder 470 E with a clamping force of 1,000 kN will demonstrate this by producing prefillable syringe barrels made of the innovative material COP (Cyclic Olefin Polymer). COP is transparent and has similar barrier properties to glass, but is almost unbreakable and more cost-efficient to produce. In a subsequent step, the syringe barrels can be pre-filled, assembled and packaged ready for use. The Arburg Multilift Select robotic system is used to remove the barrels.

Arburg will present a medical technology application at the Chinaplas 2015, in which prefillable syringe barrels made of the innovative material COP are manufactured as a substitute for glass.

Related Exhibition:
Chinaplas 2015
The 29th International Exhibition on Plastics and Rubber Industries
5/20/2015 - 5/23/2015
Venue: China Import and Export Fair Pazhou Complex, Guangzhou, China

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