KraussMaffei: Merging of brands for Injection Molding, Extrusion and Reaction Process technologies under a single brand

KraussMaffei is consolidating all its business divisions (injection moulding, extrusion and reaction process technology) and its previous brands KraussMaffei, KraussMaffei Berstorff and Netstal within a single, unified brand: KraussMaffei. The company said this repositioning is in line with the “Compass” corporate strategy, which has already brought about fundamental changes with the launch of the Digital & Service Solutions (DSS) business unit. Visual evidence of the restructuring can be seen in a new corporate design throughout the company, which will be rolled out to a wider audience during K 2019.

KraussMaffei offers the new standard metering machine RimStar for high demands. (Source: KraussMaffei)

As part of the repositioning, all subsidiaries and locations will operate under the name KraussMaffei from now on. Netstal-Maschinen AG, Näfels, Switzerland, will be known as KraussMaffei High Performance AG. Its injection moulding machinery will be integrated into the KraussMaffei portfolio under the established Netstal product brand, which means the Netstal name will still appear on the machinery itself. The KraussMaffei Berstorff brand, which was used for extrusion technology, will be integrated in KraussMaffei. KraussMaffei Berstorff GmbH, Hanover, Germany, will now be known as KraussMaffei Extrusion GmbH. The common appearance supports the further integration of the Injection Moulding, Extrusion and Reaction Process Machinery divisions, which already work hand in hand for many applications (e.g. lightweight construction). The areas of Automation and Digitalisation, the latter now represented by the Digital & Service Solutions (DSS) division, have long been developing innovative solutions across technologies. The DSS business unit offers digital services for all machine generations and plastics processing technologies and will give a live presentation of an existing machine featuring a digital retrofit.

The EcoStar Compact offers PU processing technology for limited budgets. (Source: KraussMaffei)

PU metering systems for digitally integrated production processes

KraussMaffei is offering a completely relaunched product range of mixing and metering machines as well as option packages with many new features at K 2019. The entry-level model EcoStar Compact provides metering technology for pump sizes from 4 – 40 l. As a laboratory as well as a production machine, the series covers a wide range of solutions for producing PU components. It features a Siemens KTP400 control panel for simple control and operation, a metering pump with optional closed-loop technology for continuous optimum flow rate, and self-cleaning linear and deflection mixing heads for homogeneous mixing of reaction components. The basic version of the RimStar Smart already offers extensive equipment features for series production of PU components in Industry 4.0 production environments. The TP 700 operating panels from Siemens and volume flow meters (VC) are provided as standard. These form the basis for the optional closed-loop control of the pour rate at shot time. A “smart” interface connects plant technology and automation if required. It can also optionally be equipped with a pentane kit. The RimStar continues to cover the most frequently requested features in the high-end sector. Multi-position metering is one of the options on offer, as well as the full range of mixing heads for up to six components e.g. for seat foam production. Equipment options include sensor-controlled oil cooling for the mixing head hydraulics, gas and propellant loading, colour aggregates and mixing heads with CN (controlled nozzle) technology. In addition, integration into automated system concepts is possible by means of appropriate interfaces. The solution is controlled by a TP-HMI from Siemens, with the optional PUC08 from KraussMaffei including production data acquisition. The RimStar Plus, in contrast, is almost entirely freely configurable. Customers are free to choose almost any module they wish and have access to the company’s expertise in special constructions.

Leaf springs made of CFK are 60 % lighter than their pendants made of steel. (Source: KraussMaffei)

More efficiency in lightweight construction

The company will also exhibit a wide variety of lightweight construction applications. Among these are leaf springs made of composites. The Reaction Process Machinery business unit has developed a leaf spring for trucks and vans for the Chinese composite pioneer Hengrui. Manufactured in the HP-RTM process, it is 60 % lighter than the previous product made of steel. Its strength can be deliberately increased in sections where it is required and the corrosion resistance offers further added value. A high-pressure metering machine with mixing head and a mould carrier with a pressing force of 800 t are the most important system components in the production of the leaf spring. A network of partners was also involved: Engenuity developed the component, Huntsman supplied the matrix system made of epoxy resin, Johns Manville supplied the glass fibres, Chomarat created the fibre rovings, Schmidt & Heinzmann manufactured the preforms, Alpex designed the RTM mould and Hufschmied took charge of post-mould processing of the component by milling.

Pultrusion is one of the most cost-effective ways of producing composites, e.g. long, thin profiles for windows or rebars for concrete. (Source: KraussMaffei)

KraussMaffei will also highlight the iPul system for pultrusion, the continuous “pulling extrusion” of fibre-reinforced articles, as a cost-effective way of producing composites for the construction, wind power and automotive industries. The fibres in pultruded profiles are completely aligned with the direction of load, resulting in finished products that are specially optimised regarding material and weight. The iPul system with mould, metering machine and accessories is capable of high production speeds of up to 3 m/min, which is aided by the design of the mould and the injection box. Close collaboration with material partners Covestro, Huntsman and Evonik make it possible to process highly reactive matrix systems. At K 2019, new components from the construction and automotive industries optimised regarding weight and costs will be on display.

MultiStar, the mobile robotic processing cell for post-processing of foam-backed interior components. (Source: KraussMaffei)

All-round expertise for foamed components

Milling, ultrasonic cutting, deflashing, testing or flexible welding tasks can now be carried out with a single, mobile machine concept for finishing components. The new MultiStar processing cell uses up to three robots operating simultaneously with different tools. A component positioner with quick-change capability for product pickup eliminates the need for any manual setup. The component is placed in a safe, steady position which is optimal for processing. According to KraussMaffei, with this innovation the company is highlighting its expertise in delivering complete, highly automated production systems for preparing, producing and post-processing of foamed multi-component PU components. For the first time, the company will demonstrate the fully automatic deflashing of semi-rigid foam components with a robot-controlled, deflashing head developed in-house as well as an end-to-end system for process monitoring and data analysis.

KraussMaffei at K 2019, hall 15, stand C24 – C27