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Electric Plastic Injection Molding Machine - Part 2

As the technology of the all electric injection molding machines has improved, so had their reliability and consistency.  The servo motor technology is continuing to improve and the manufactures of electric injection molding machines are quickly adding them to their machines.  They have now realized that in the case of the longer and higher pressure injection cycles, that bigger is often really better for this application.  It is simple logic really when you consider what you are trying to accomplish. 

What would make more sense than using a servo that is not going to have to work as hard at the peak requirements for a given process.  If the servo can just basically “loaf” along at high loads, the cooling of these motors is much easier.  Unlike most hydraulic injection molding machines, the electric molding machines rely on air cooling in most cases for cooling which is not as efficient as the water cooling that the hydraulic machines can use but you can see why the electric injection molding machines have shied away from water cooling.  The old adage of “water and electricity don’t mix” stills applies and they definitely don’t want to introduce and electrocution hazards unnecessarily.   

Of all of the advantages that the electric injection molding machines provide, I have found that the shot to shot consistency is the most advantageous.  While the electric machines are overall less expensive to run and that fact was one of the earliest cost saving selling points used by the manufactures, the consistency and repeatability of the all electric injection molding machine in my opinion, far our weighs the electricity savings in a complicated molding environment. 

If you are molding low tolerance and fairly simple widgets, or what I lovingly refer to as shoot and ship type products, then I would say to you that you don’t need an electric injection molding machine for those reasons alone.  Other than the raw electrical cost savings, they aren’t probably going to be necessary to your operations.  Now don’t misunderstand my meaning here.  I think that electric injection molding machines are the neatest thing since sliced bread.   

I would buy them for many different reasons, but if you are faced with the harsh economic reality of our beloved injection molding industry, you might find it difficult to cost justify the purchases simply on consistency and repeatability when it’s not needed.  The electric injection molding machines still run about 20% more in initial purchase price over it’s hydraulic counterpart, and although they will pay that difference back in electrical cost savings, it won’t happen in a years time, which is the payback period many companies want to see these days.

 All I want to convey is that if you are in a position to recommend the purchase of the injection molding machines in your company, make sure that you’ve done your homework.  This is necessary to do before you go to sell your management on the fact that you need to begin upgrading equipment to the electric injection molding machines which I think will continue to become more the industry standard as time goes on, because you’ll also need to be able to back up your claims in your presentations.

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Written by: WM8C, February 21st, 2007.  Not for use without written permission





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