ACH Solution is a mold manufacturer and system supplier specializing in silicone and multi-component processes. It has established a production line for its own respiratory protection products. Since their planning is long-term, they need a flexible solution. ENGEL provided two e-victory injection molding machines. The new FFP2 mask also provides higher safety and comfort for industry and construction.
The hard component of the mask is made of polycarbonate. Except for the sealing lip, the valve and valve closing parts are all made of silica gel. The four parts of high-grade masks are produced by injection molding: two and a half filter housings, valves and valve closures, used in places where higher protection levels are specified, or applicable regional epidemiological laws do not allow mask valves with exhaled breath .
The most exciting part is the mask shell, which faces the face when worn. In the first step, the basic housing body is molded from polycarbonate in a four-cavity mold on the e-victory machine with a clamping force of 120 tons.
The pre-formed parts are sent to the second production cell through a separator and aligned with the help of a camera so that the articulated arm robot can pick up the parts in the correct direction and transfer them to a centering station with four placement positions. The viper linear robot takes over from there. It puts four sets of four into the mold of a 160-ton machine. In the second injection molding step, the mask shell is fitted with the silicone lip. Viper demolds the completed two-component parts and removes them from the production cell via a conveyor belt.
Flexibility is a core requirement, not only in mask design, but also in the layout of new production units. Two new injection molding machines — e-victory 120 and e-victory 160 — are designed to process liquid silicone (LSR) and thermoplastics, and process other products when necessary or for mold sampling.
“In less than 2 hours, we can convert the machine from one material to another,” said Andreas Penninger, Director of Application Technology for ACH Solutions. For this reason, it is necessary to replace the plasticizing unit and adjust the control system.
Further requirements for injection molding machines are high reproducibility and process stability. This also applies to two business areas, mold sampling and mask production. "We have been in unmanned production for several hours," Penninger said, "so we must be able to rely on the high-quality parts that the machine shoots again and again."
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