Framas: Investment in multi-component injection moulding equipment from Arburg

The framas group has announced a major strategic expansion of machinery. The investments includes four state-of-the-art two-shot injection moulding machines supplied by Arburg. Framas said that the new equipment creates new possibilities in the development and manufacture of footwear components.

Having previously been established in industries such as automotive or medical technology, the framas group will in future also be using the wide-ranging benefits of multi-component injection moulding in a more traditional segment: the development and manufacture of high-performance components for sport, functional and fashion footwear. That’s why the company, a specialist in sophisticated plastic injection moulding, has installed four brand new two-shot injection moulding machines at its German headquarters in Pirmasens, in the west of Rhineland-Palatinate. The innovative two-shot injection moulding approach replaces the otherwise usual insert-moulding process, which is also more expensive as it involves multilevel process stages.

Processing two different plastic materials into an end product in just one manufacturing step, especially where large quantities are involved, is clearly more efficient and minimises the potential for error thanks to the higher automation rate. When the newly acquired machinery is used for the first time as part of a customer project going into production at the end of 2020, a second TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) with anti-slip properties will be injected during the manufacture of an outer sole of a safety shoe in one and the same work process.

Following initial installations in August and October last year, two further injection moulding machines were introduced for this purpose in May and June 2020. As well as the integration of the equipment into the Manufacturing Execution System (MES) HYDRA, which was only recently introduced, the necessary training has now also been carried out. As a result of the EUR 1 million investment, framas now runs altogether 34 injection moulding machines of various types at its Pirmasens site.

The four new servo-electric Arburg Allrounder 720 A 3200-800/290 are equipped with Multilift Select robot systems with cantilever design. Clamping force is 3200 kN. Injection unit I: 800 horizontal. Injection unit II: 290 horizontal L.

The Arburg Allrounder 720 A 3200-800/290 is equipped with a Multilift Select robot system. (Source: framas)

“As extremely versatile materials, plastics offer a huge variety of mechanical material properties. These can include elasticity, scratch resistance and tensile strength, as well as lightfastness or even anti-slip properties, as required in our new project”, explains Andreas Quade, General Director Technology at framas Kunststofftechnik GmbH, where he also has responsibility for production. “Carrying out the secure material combination of two TPUs in a single process step and being able to manufacture the entire work piece on just one machine brings far-reaching benefits. The complete modernisation of our machinery will therefore give our clients in the shoe industry access to the sort of high-end technology that is otherwise normally only used in industries such as automotive or medical engineering.”

About framas
The framas group, founded in 1948 and based in Pirmasens, Germany, has specialised in the customer-specific development and production of components for sports, functional and fashion shoes. This includes lasts, heel elements and back caps, especially insoles and outsoles, spike systems, cushioning elements and other shoe components for example for the application in medical and orthopaedic technology. The company has a huge competence in injection moulding, and supplies not only the shoe industry, but also the electronics sector. Among the customers are sports shoe labels such as adidasPumaNike and New Balance as well as manufacturers of safety shoes such as Uvex and Haix and also well-known electronics specialists. framas has its own development centre, high-end mould construction and advanced injection moulding machines at every production site. These are located where the customers produce – thus, besides the German headquarters, production sites in China, Indonesia and Vietnam as well as service centres (representative offices) in the USA, South Korea and Hong Kong are maintained. The 3,800 employees of the group generate annual sales of about EUR 150 million.