Netstal Elion presses shorten dry-cycle times

March 1, 2020
New software has shaved as much as 0.2 seconds off dry-cycle times for the Netstal Elion series of injection molding machines.

KraussMaffei’s Netstal Elion series of injection molding machines can shave as much as 0.2 seconds off dry-cycle times due to a software update to the controller that operates the clamping unit. To achieve this improvement, the machines must be equipped with the aXos controller starting with version 8.2.

The Netstal Elion series is available in clamping forces of 90, 135, 197, 247, 315, 360 and 472 tons. The machines are designed to produce thin-wall packaging, beverage closures and medical products. All new Netstal Elion series machines are equipped with the aXos controller with the updated software, and older-model machines can be upgraded.

The company had previously implemented the software update on its Netstal Elios series injection molding machines.

The software improves dry-cycle times by adjusting and optimizing the acceleration and deceleration of the clamping unit drive.

“The controller recognizes the set mold height and calculates the corresponding weight of the moving mold half,” said Marcel Christen, product manager at KraussMaffei HighPerformance AG. “With this, the controller parameters are adjusted to reach the maximum possible acceleration and deceleration, which leads to a higher maximum speed and therefore a significant time savings for the mold-moving sequence.”

The medical version of the Netstal ElionKrauss-Maffei Corp.The new software control algorithm calculates the potential mold weight based on the set installation height and incorporates that into the control of the acceleration and deceleration process, he said. It achieves this without damaging the mold.

A slight increase in the dry-cycle time makes a big difference in production numbers over time. The company illustrated this by citing an example of a Netstal Elion 4200 machine with a 96-cavity mold producing HDPE closures weighing 1.23 grams each. The aXos controller with the latest software will shorten the dry cycle time from 2.77 seconds to 2.6 seconds. As a result, the hourly output will increase from 124,750 closures to 132,920 closures, which is an increase in productivity of 6.5 percent.

Netstal Elion-series machines, which have model names that match their clamping forces in kilonewtons, come in all-electric and hybrid versions. The clamping unit is always driven by an electric motor. The smallest machine, the Elion 800, is fully electric. Models 1200, 1750, 2200 and 2800 can be equipped with an electric or a hybrid injection unit. The 3200 and 4200 models are available only with hybrid injection units.

The Netstal Elion series was launched in 2004. The machines feature a centrally positioned, five-point dual-toggle lever that is driven by a horizontal servomotor.

“The arrangement of the motor and the single-toggle-actuation concept provides many advantages for high-speed applications,” Christen said. “It also provides ideal conditions to recuperate kinetic energy, which helps to further increase energy efficiency.”

Bruce Adams, senior staff reporter

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Contact: Krauss-Maffei Corp., Florence, Ky., 859-283-0200,