Faster and better: All-electric injection molding machines win the race!

Ski boots from Rossignol and Lange are well known to skiers all over the world. Similarly, parents with small children are familiar with toys made by Chicco or Artsana: large plastic phones that make funny noises, multicoloured rings and cubes. These different products have one thing in common: they are produced by the same injection moulding facility - Omnia Plast in Bucharest, Romania.

The company, part of the Italian group Sunino, is new to the market and has been producing plastic parts on a production area of 9,170 square meters for only five years. The company also offers pad printing and assembly. Most products are exported, mainly to Europe and the US. With its special plastics processing portfolio, Omnia Plast has already become well established in the market. In consequence, the parent corporation Sunino has successfully moved into the southeast European market.

Right on schedule

Up until May 2014, the company had been operating only twenty hydraulic injection moulding machines: horizontal machines with clamping forces of between 400 and 4,000 kN as well as vertical machines with clamping forces of between 3,500 and 5,000 kN. But the market was growing, business was booming. In the wake of this development, Alexander Grancea, Head of Production at Omnia Plast, was more than ready to expand and decided to acquire additional injection moulding machines.

"Initially, we considered investing in several hydraulic machines. But then we realized that all-electric IntElect machines from Sumitomo Demag (SHI) offer potential for much higher output rates, better precision and energy efficiency. This is when we decided to change tack."

Eight IntElect machines with clamping forces of between 1,000 and 1,800 kN are currently operated at Omnia Plast's production halls. The two IntElect 180 machines (clamping forces: 1,800 kN) are equipped with a handling and automation system from Sepro. All stages of order processing from project engineering right through to commissioning were handled by the Rumanian Sumitomo Demag (SHI) representation Chorus Engineering srl. Grancea was very impressed with the service quality: "The team at Chorus Engineering was highly organized at all times, the team members were full of good ideas and perfectly adhered to our tight delivery schedule."


Reducing operating costs 

The eight new injection moulding machines process TPU, PP, ABS and polyamide for the production of toys, ski boots and components for children's pushchairs. Prior to commissioning, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag ran production tests for all articles in Germany to ensure that the customer was provided with optimal machine settings. For the production of TPU ski boot heels in a four-cavity mould for example, the Intellect 160-680 was equipped with ActiveLock and ActiveFlowBalance functions. The controllable ActiveLock non-return valve prevents the backflow of melt into the screw channels right at the onset of the injection phase. This is particular important for the production of sports articles as they require a high degree of precision and constant processes in order to meet tolerances that ultimately ensure the safety of the athlete. The ActiveFlowBalance machine function uses the expansion of the compressed melt during the transition from injection pressure to the holding pressure, which results in higher filling levels in partially filled cavities due to their lower counterpressure. This way, the filling levels are balanced out quickly without extending the cycle times. Grancea is full of praise: "We were able to reduce the cycle times for the production of ski boot heels from 62 to 44 seconds, the cavities were filled evenly and we had much less waste. There was no need to explain why our production and energy costs were reduced - the reasons were obvious", he adds contentedly.

As the extra investment was paid off very quickly, the higher cost of all-electric injection moulding machines compared with hydraulic models was no problem for the Romanian company. Higher output rates, less waste, less energy, virtually no unplanned machine downtimes and easy maintenance - all of these factors equaled low operating costs. Grancea is fully satisfied with his decision: "The machines are easy to operate, our personnel quickly figured out how to use the control system and I am highly impressed with the machines' precision."


Focus on precision

Chorus Engineering monitored the commissioning of the IntElect machines and provided the operator training. A process engineer from Sumitomo (SHI) Demag carried out the fine adjustments. At the end of the first production weeks with the new machines, the team made some final on-site machine optimizations and provided additional hands-on machine training . The production is now running smoothly, and Grancea is already planning to move into new markets such as automotive and electronics. "We want to expand our production and attract new customers in these segments. Faced with an investment decision, I would again opt for all-electric machines from Sumitomo (SHI) Demag because these customers demand products with a high level of precision. I also attach major importance to the fact that these machines consume less energy and produce less waste. These factors are crucial for success. "

Sunino Group has been working with Sumitomo (SHI) Demag for seven years. The company has already been operating a total of eleven injection moulding machines for packaging applications at its Italian production facility and is now continuing the successful partnership in Romania, thanks to Chorus Engineering, who handled the Romanian project with the professional expertise and commitment that is the hallmark of Sumitomo (SHI) Demag.


Strong partners

Plastics processing specialist Chorus Engineering srl set up its headquarters in Bucharest, Romania in 1997. The family-run company develops turnkey solutions for numerous applications. The specialist with a portfolio that ranges from project engineering right through commissioning delivers a level of expertise and quality that customers can rely on. But that is not all: Chorus also provides maintenance, parts supply and installation as well as support for process-related problems and the expansion of existing production lines.

Chorus Engineering has been selling injection moulding machines from Sumitomo (SHI) Demag Plastics Machinery GmbH, Germany, since 2003: joint responsibility and technical expertise has created a perfect synergy that generates successful projects.


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