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Stäubli’s Advances In Magnetic Mould Clamping Maximise Productivity And Safety


The plastics injection moulding sector is fast paced, and manufacturers are continually seeking opportunities to secure a competitive advantage. In todays’ climate, with energy costs at an all-time high, raw material costs increasing, the need to address environmental challenges, and in certain markets, a trend towards higher mix and lower volume JIT (just in time) production, achieving the highest levels of machine up-time and productivity are key factors in maintaining a viable and profitable business.

Exchanging mould tools within the injection moulding machine, especially where traditional manual methods using bolts and mechanical clamps are employed, can account for a significant amount of non-productive time. The issue of downtime is further exacerbated in a high product mix environment, where multiple mould changes may be required.

Just in time production (JIT) therefore was one of the catalysts behind the development of alternative mould clamping solutions. Whilst several different approaches have been used and evaluated by moulders over the years, magnetic clamping technology has been confirmed as the most efficient and reliable solution. Magnetic clamping technology is suitable for virtually all injection presses and mould sizes and does not require any modification of existing mould tools.

Based upon long established, successful, and field proven principles, Stäubli’s latest generation QMC123 magnetic mould clamping solutions are designed to provide injection moulders with impressive levels of flexibility, whilst maintaining the highest levels of productivity, by simplifying the mould change process. In addition, QMC123 offers many advantages during quick mould change operations through new features such as active safety, improved interaction with the operator, and the exact measurement of the clamping force, all made possible by Stäubli’s IMAG technology. 

By integrating a number of features which make it possible to anticipate malfunctions, QMC123 reduces machine downtime. An interactive control panel enables the validation of each safety point during mould changing operations. A mould movement anticipation function helps to avoid the potential of moulds falling during the changeover process.

Stäubli’s IMAG-Editor software calculates the clamping force required for each mould in advance, depending on the press on which it will be used. This information means that any problems can be anticipated ahead of production, and thanks to IMAG technology, the operator will be alerted if the system is in error or if the clamping force being exerted on the mould is insufficient.

Users can select from two variants of this innovative mould clamping solution. QMC123 Essential provides a level of safety configured for repetitive operations with a lower level of diversity in the moulds, in terms of their size and weight, and simple push button operation. The QMC123 Premium variant on the other hand offers the safest magnetic clamping solution on the market today. In addition, the versatility of the Premium option makes it compliant with a high diversity of mould variants, and an intuitive and ergonomic hand pendant provides enhanced functionality through integration with the machine HMI.

The QMC123 Magnetic Clamping Solution also plays a key role as part of a SMED (Single Minute Exchange of Die) strategy, by minimizing the time between the last good part and the first good new part. In addition, with its data acquisition capabilities, this new generation technology is also compatible with the principles of Industry 4.0.  Stäubli’s QMC123 solution was launched following an extensive period of product development, followed by field testing to evaluate performance and reliability across multiple production environments. With the QMC123 solution compatible with moulding machines ranging 50T to upwards of 4,000T, this latest generation technology is already establishing itself as the benchmark in the plastics sector. 

All of Stäubli’s products are supported worldwide through the company’s global network. Technical support, service, installation, and operator training is available from dedicated teams in all locations.

Manufacturing & Engineering Magazine | The Home of Manufacturing Industry News

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