A brand new Sacmi-built preform press using injection technology: this is the IPS – the injection preform system. And Sacmi, the world’s only supplier able to offer the market two alternative technologies – injection and compression – will be presenting all the latest at the Plast fair in Milan from 8th to 12th May, paving the way for nothing less than a product-process revolution in the preforms sector!
Every day of the fair SACMI will be laying on a special shuttle service to the parent company in Imola where visitors can get a first-hand look at a fully functioning 48-cavity model with a clamping force of 220 tons.
Moreover, another specially set up area will host a CCM, a compression machine for cap-making, a field in which SACMI is the undisputed leader; here, it will be possible to take a close look at integrated, personalised cap-preform solutions that combine high performance with lower energy costs, reduced raw material consumption and lower running costs.
Such key themes will also be the focus of a Sacmi-organised conference being held on 8th May at the Imola-based head offices.
Fully designed and developed by Sacmi, the IPS is currently available in a 48-cavity version, while a more powerful 300 ton model housing 72 cavities is already under development.
A key IPS feature is its simplified user interface: this makes for easy machine management and minimises worker training times: all the operator has to do is enter the preform geometry data. Machine ergonomics and worker safety are also in evidence during the ejection phase: a robot – fully integrated on the machine – picks up the preforms with a 3-station gripper and so allows post-cooling prior to unloading. This solution ensures higher quality preforms and prevents the damage that can occur when preforms are handled before they’ve fully cooled. Another key feature is the new linear motor that drives the gripper: in addition to outstanding performance, this allows recovery of braking energy during the deceleration phase, thus ensuring reduced energy consumption plus excellent precision, speed and repeatability of movement.
The picture is completed by extremely short cycle times. This has been achieved thanks to plant optimisation, digital servo-valves fitted near the actuators and a machine design optimised to make press opening-clamping even more efficient. The toggle system and mobile platen that make up the mould clamping unit are hydraulically controlled and have been designed using FEM structural analysis to optimise mechanical inertia while ensuring outstanding mechanical strength. This guarantees ultra-fast lock-to-lock, times, cutting the preform cycle time further.
Equally interesting is the preform ejection system. Here, Sacmi’s designers have opted for a solution controlled by two hydraulic cylinders that optimise ejection force and ensure considerable energy savings. No less advanced is the pump-controlled cooling system, fitted directly on the rear of the machine; this features control software that guarantees homogeneous water temperature at every stage of the process.
To combine outstanding performance with energy savings the injection unit consists of a cylinder with a plasticising screw, guided by an electric motor, and a shooting pot, controlled by a servo-valve. Last but by no means any less important us flexibility, another key characteristic of the new IPS; the mould zone, in fact, is specifically designed to make ultra-rapid size changeovers possible. Furthermore, a special system guarantees correct positioning of the mould, which "hooks on" automatically, while the overall time needed for mechanical changeover of the mould – including automatic plate offloading – is less than an hour.
The model will be on show and fully operational at Sacmi Imola throughout the Plast fair period and will be equipped with a Sacmi-made mould. Nevertheless, the design team is already working on modifications to allow operation with all mould types.