At the recent Chinaplas 2021 in Shenzhen, Tat Ming Technology Co., Ltd. demonstrated its portfolio of energy-saving and highly efficient machines. At its booth, Tat Ming displayed a dual-mould 2TME123 injection moulding machine and an intelligent power meter iPM. At the HKPMA booth (funded by the HK government), Tat Ming showed off a TME110-S injection moulding machine to do over moulding on carbon fibre sheet material.
2TME123 uses a patented design so two moulds can be mounted on one machine. During ChinaPlas 2021, the moulds made different PET preforms at 6 and 12 cavities. Within the longer cycle time of the two moulds, the preforms of the other mould were also made.
The iPM is hooked up to the controller and power input of an injection moulding machine to measure its energy consumption as the machine produces. Heater energy consumption is measured separately other than total machine energy consumption.
Mr. Kevin Tong, General Manager, Tat Ming
As Kevin Tong, General Manager at Tat Ming explains: “Carbon fibre sheet material has advantages over aluminium alloy in being light weight, high strength, high elasticity modulus, etc. It is even stronger than long carbon fibre mixed with PC. But how do you incorporate sheet material into the plastic parts? The process is demonstrated using heating of the sheet by infrared light before the mould closes on it. Robot automation was used to put the sheet into the mould and to take out the finished product from the previous shot.”
Economical and efficient models
For the 2TME123, the economical lives of old moulds with few cavities are extended, energy is saved (vs 2 machines) and space is saved (vs 2 machines). For the iPM, heater energy consumption is measured separately other than total machine energy consumption. This allows us to evaluate barrel heater technologies. The resolution is sufficiently high that meaningful data are obtained in 10 shots or a few minutes so optimising injection parameters is possible. It can be used in cyclical applications including blow moulding machine and in non-cyclical applications like peripheral equipment (e.g. chiller, hopper dryer).
2TME123 uncovered shows two clamping units
The carbon fibre sheet demonstration shows the heating of the carbon fibre sheet for 40 s (50 mm from the infrared light), a cooling time of 70 s after injection, a cycle time of 123 s and automation by robots. The plastic material is PC. The application is the rear mirror case outside a car. This process is simpler than an earlier process using thermoset plastic which has an additional step of forming the carbon sheet material into shape beforehand in another process using another mould.
iPM connected to an injection moulding machine
“Energy saving has been a trend since the Gulf War which drove up the price of crude oil. Various technologies including servodrive, electromagnetic heating, radiation heating and space-age insulation material came to be commonly used,” according to Mr. Tong. He went on to say that the iPM can be used to measure heater energy consumption separately so different heating/insulation technologies could be compared. The short measurement time allows for parameter optimization to reduce energy consumption. 2TME123 has only one barrel. There is heat loss when heating up the barrel. Such loss is almost halved vs two machines with two identical barrels. Heat loss is proportional to cycle time.
In the future, according to Mr. Tong, more models of the 2TME and the 5Gal (an earlier series dedicated to making 5-gallon preforms) are being planned as Tat Ming embarks on a driving up the efficiency and benefits its machines offer to the global market. The dual-mould technology will be extended to LSR injection moulding and Tat Ming looks into adopting electrical injection unit in the future.
Tat Ming Technology Co., Ltd.
Tel: +852 2790 4633, 2797 8774
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