Netstal to showcase co-injection application at Fakuma – Netstal coinjection Fakuma
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Netstal to showcase co-injection application at Fakuma
Netstal will make three-layer coffee capsules using a precision co-injection process at Fakuma 2017.
An all-electric, two-component ELION injection moulding machine delivering 1,200 kN of clamping force will make the capsules. The sandwich injection moulding process enables IML-decorated plastic capsules and many other packaging products to be efficiently manufactured with a reliable barrier effect.
Unveiled for the first time at Fakuma, the application will have an all-electric ELION 1200 produce capsules on a VNC-integrated Plasdan additional injection unit equipped with a four-cavity Fostag test mould.
The overall cycle time will be around 4.9 seconds. An automated Beck handling system automatically places Verstraete IML in-mould labels into the mould and removes the decorated capsules after the injection process. Finished parts are then stacked with the opening face downwards and an IMD Vista optical inspection system integrated within the removal robot checks the position and thickness of the EVOH barrier.
Finally, the Nespresso-compatible capsules are stored in bulk in a container.
The manufacturing of thin-walled parts requires a high level of injection performance. The maximum achievable injection speed is decisive, but also the dynamics. Moreover, absolute precision and repeatability is also needed to accurately form the multiple layers.
Marcel Christen, Applications and Packaging Product Manager at Netstal, said: “With its all-electric main injection unit and additional vertically-integrated (via VNC) Plasdan unit, within a small footprint the ELION 1200-250/120 provides ideal performance capabilities that enable successful implementation of the co-injection process.”
As a result of the unique transmission principle with double toothed-rack gear and high-precision force measurement integrated into the injection axis, the ELION main injection unit delivers premium dynamics and outstanding precision combined with repeatability, for a shot-to-shot consistency.
Designed to work at very high speed, the clamping unit on the ELION simultaneously enables short cycle times for every application. Owing to a consistent modular design and many additional equipment options, the ELION can be optimally adapted to meet the needs of various application areas.
The most important aspect of a coffee capsule is to protect the contents against the influence of oxygen, light and moisture, to protect the coffee aroma. Aluminium offers extremely effective aroma protection, but requires so much power to manufacture that the industry turned its attention to the benefits of using plastic for the disposable product. The decisive factor then was how to preserve the aroma.
Reto Gmür, Netstal application engineer, said: “Netstal’s solution deploys the precision co-injection process and superb barrier effect of ethylene vinyl alcohol copolymer (EVOH) and polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH).”
Marcel Christen sees a bright future for the process: “Sandwich injection moulding offers such unique opportunities that we can envisage many other application areas in addition to portioning coffee and tea; for example baby food, soft drink concentrates, medicines and many more packaging applications that require reliable barrier effectiveness.”