Milacron's M-Series IMMs tailored for the market

March 20, 2024
Machines debut at NPE with clamping forces ranging from 500 tons to 1,250 tons, feature a smaller footprint than similar MPS series.

By David Tillett 

Milacron’s new mid-tonnage M-Series injection molding machines maintain some of the best features of the machines in its MPS series while offering improvements to better fit market requirements. Milacron unveiled the newest series in Europe at Fakuma in October, and will introduce it to the North American market at NPE in Milacron’s booth No. W1601.  

“We redesigned the entire machine, both clamping and injection unit side,” Milacron product manager Alec Woll said. “[There are] a lot of similarities between the MPS and the M, but there’s a lot of differences as well. So with this machine, we are thinking its smaller footprint, it’s a lot faster on the clamp side, and overall, we think is a better machine.” 

Milacron is currently taking orders for six models, ranging from about 500 tons of clamping force up to 1,250 tons.  

Woll said he expects the M-Series to appeal to customers producing an array of products, including:  large interior trim and exterior parts for vehicles that can benefit from the presses’ generous tie-bar space; consumer goods such as large totes; some items like buckets; caps and closures — an application where cycle time is not a critical factor; and construction products involving PVC fittings.  

The M-Series’ design makes it appropriate for molders both in the U.S. and abroad. “So this is taking it into a more global design, so we can sell it into three different regions: our region, which is the U.S. side, India’s using the same machine … and then also Europe,” Woll said. “So all three of us are going to be selling this machine as the mid-tonnage product offering.” 

Woll said that Milacron’s experience with the pump packages customers were requesting for its MPS machines helped the company gauge needs for the M-Series. “So we have three performance packages for each tonnage range,” Woll said. “And they kind of fluctuate with either dry-cycle times, or injection rates – so it’ll help either the injection side or the clamp side, depending on what you need.” 

The three performance packages Milacron is providing for its M-Series machines are:  

  • The standard package, which is more of a general-purpose machine. Woll said it would most likely appeal to custom molders and customers in India, where cycle times or high injection rates are not critical for performance.  
  • The increased package, which will improve performance in different ways depending on machine size. For smaller-tonnage machines, the increased package will provide increased clamp speed, while larger-tonnage machines will see a boost in injection rate speeds. 
  • The performance package, which offers both injection and clamp speed increases. 

One striking change in the M-Series is the tonnage assembly. The MPS has a three-platen design, with the moving platen and a big center tonnage ram. The M-Series has a thicker moving platen than the MPS, but employs a two-platen design and eliminates the platen on the back side, giving it a smaller footprint than the MPS.  

Woll said another advantage of this design change is the improvement in dry-cycle time compared to the MPS machines. “We’re moving a lot less mass back and forth, so our dry-cycle times are better,” he said.  He said that could reduce dry-cycle time by 10 percent to 20 percent for M-Series machines compared to MPS machines with comparable performance packages. 

“We made it as robust as possible. … We took a lot of time and effort to redesign those tonnage assemblies,” Woll said. “So with that, we’re still saving footprint on the clamp end by roughly 5 percent, and it could potentially go all the way up to 13 percent over the MPS. So that's a big benefit for customers because we're always trying to figure out how to reduce that machine footprint.”   

Woll said that in the past, customers could buy machines boasting extended daylight to accommodate larger molds and deeper-draw parts as an option, but with the footprint savings that have been introduced, additional daylight has become a standard feature for the M-Series.  

He said the M-Series’ strain rods are provided with additional support through the tonnage seal when compared to competitors’ machines, which is especially helpful for applications that demand larger molds. The additional support mitigates problems seen on other machines, where larger molds can potentially weigh down the strain rods or cause the platen to tilt, thereby causing excessive wear on seals.  

 “Some of our competitors do not [provide support], which is, I think, an issue because the strain rods are just kind of cantilevered out there,” he said.  

The strain rods in the M-Series also are chrome-plated, which helps prevent rust and improve the longevity of the machine generally. It also is a specific advantage for customers who work with PVC, which is very corrosive.   

The M-Series also has longer feet support, with three linear bearings to provide additional low-friction support for larger molds. “So, we support it three ways on the linear ways to help give you that added support to carry that extra load,” Woll said. “And then also this helps move that center of gravity, so it’s more centered in the mold itself.” 

Woll said Milacron decided to continue using the same crucial components that it has used on its C-Series machines. “Fanuc motors and drives are the biggest benefit for us over the MPS [series],” Woll said.  

“Fanuc is basically the controlling unit of everything with our machines. … Some of our competitors are using smart valving, smart pumps, variable volume pumps. We basically control all of it by our servo motor and our servo drive … and we’re doing that by [using] the top of the line, in my opinion, of servos and drives.” 

Woll said using Fanuc means time between failures for its servos and drives is 50 years. “We don’t think we need to change it. And we’ve been running this on the C-Series since 2018. And I don’t believe we’ve had any failures out in the field.” Because Milacron has chosen to use Fanuc across multiple models, it simplifies stocking replacement parts, should any be needed.  



Milacron LLC, Batavia, Ohio, 513-536-2000, 

About the Author

David Tillett | Associate Editor

Associate Editor David Tillett writes and edits for Plastics Machinery & Manufacturing, Plastics Recycling and The Journal of Blow Molding. He covers new products, industry news, patents and consumer and business equipment. He has more than 20 years of experience in daily newspaper, online and magazine journalism.