Sumitomo (SHI) Demag presents ‘smart’ IMD EV Wallbox production at K 2022

At K 2022 (Hall 15, D22), Sumitomo (SHI) Demag showcases its in-mould decoration (IMD) processing expertise, manufacturing a complex electric vehicle (EV) application on an all-electric IntElect2 220/660-1100 injection moulding machine. Creating a ‘smart’ e-charging Wallbox column, weighing 110 grams, in a 60 second cycle time, this new demonstration centres around sustainability. Despite its decor and complexity, the manufactured IMD part is especially durable due to its special material properties. Yet, the fully recyclable material used - a Makrolon RE polycarbonate supplied by Covestro - is also CO2-neutral.

Underpinning Sumitomo (SHI) Demag’s Act! Sustainably commitment, the company continues to take decisive action, stating that  all future innovations, machines and equipment are now totally manufactured with this ecological mission and the EU Digital Product Passport (DPP) in mind. Accordingly, complete integration of IMD within the injection moulding process on this application eliminates any additional manufacturing steps. This processing synergy significantly reduces CO2 emissions and is therefore widely regarded as being more sustainable.

A cooperation involving numerous partners and sustainability influencers, the K 2022 Wallbox project showcases the very best industry expertise and innovations reports Rustam Aliyev, Director Business Development Automotive & Electronic.

Alongside Sumitomo (SHI) Demag and Covestro, KURZ presents its newest functionality and decorative manufacturing techniques.  Frimo supplies the sprue separation system, Acsys provides the laser, and schöfer, a KURZ subsidiary, the tooling technology. The temperature control systems and material drying process are designed by Piovan.

Describing the extent of the technological advances accomplished by this Wallbox project, Rustam references the separation of component sprues after the injection process using a milling head equipped with clean room technology. “This single process ensures that particles are extracted in a controlled manner. Showcasing what can be achieved when likeminded industry innovators come together to resolve specific processing challenges.”

Sustainability pioneer KURZ also shares its extensive decoration experience. The company’s use of thin-film technology ensures recyclability of the components isn’t compromised. Additionally, by integrating the resource-saving IMD process into production means that extra drying energy is no longer required. This also eliminates wet paint contamination. Thus reducing component defects and consequently waste.


Application-specific automation


Showcasing the company’s Customised Automation competence, the Wallbox production cell features a 5-axis linear robot SD 22x, underlining the successful and long-standing partnership Sumitomo (SHI Demag continues to enjoy with Sepro.

For optimal efficiency, this 5-axis robot performs multiple tasks, including removing the moulded Wallbox component and inserting the decorative film, which is then back-injected. Two servo rotation axes guarantee precision and reliability.

Next, the Wallbox control panel is transported to the milling station, where separation of the gates occur. AfiPro (formerly H+S Automatisierungstechnik) then introduces the ensuing automation, delivering a seamless process from start to end. “The entire process flow is designed to reduce operating effort and minimise footprint within customer plants. This exhibit is an exemplary example of how to apply Customised Automation to meet a specific application processing requirement, using flexible, easy-to-operate robotics within an injection moulding cell,” claims the automotive and electronics expert.

The system’s modular design showcases how a single cell can easily switch between manufacturing simple and highly complex parts, highlights Aliyev.  "The digitisation of components and design elements combined with extremely durable finishes for a large number of product variants, using one operation offers manufacturers significant cost savings." Referencing the design and production of EV smart charging technology, Aliyev adds: "The ability to introduce partial lighting, optional sensors and displays for maximum functionality is a good example of how processes can be adapted to meet the growing needs for high-quality, bespoke and diverse product ranges that are also energy-efficient and resource-saving."


Toggle technology lowers scrap rates


A direct advantage of the IntElect2’s parallel axis and closed toggle lever technology, which maximises the platen parallelism movements, are the extremely low reject rates. This outstanding processing precision, characterised by excellent dynamics and high energy efficiency, significantly contributes to the project’s success, reports Aliyev.  The IntElect2 220/660-1100 that’s so integral to this K 2022 demonstration, features the company’s newest servo drives. Delivering even greater repeatability and shorter cycle times.

As a result of Sumitomo (SHI) Demag’s proprietary drive motors, the IntElect series uses up to 20 percent less energy than conventional all-electric injection moulding machines. Making it one of the most energy efficient machines on the market, reports Aliyev. Higher availability and greater precision are additional efficiency advantages. All process-relevant interfaces are integrated into a single control system, including all of the IMD and robotic communications.