The enthusiastic guests were able to experience live and in colour what the family-owned company with its 100-year history is all about at the exhibits in the Customer Center, in the Efficiency Arena, in the training and service areas, in the Automation Arena, as well as during tours of the company and specialist lectures: Sustainable action, innovative ideas, forward thinking and combined expertise in resource-saving and production-efficient plastic parts manufacturing.
Highlight: Milestone machine with new technology
A hybrid Allrounder 470 H against a golden background attracted a great deal of interest in the Customer Center. The milestone machine sets the stage for a new machine technology from Arburg – it saves energy, conserves resources, is production-efficient, user-friendly and reliable all at the same time. The technical features include a new oil management concept, flow splitting for simultaneous movements of hydraulic secondary axes and the extended use of the Arburg servo hydraulic system. With the "Comfort", "Premium" and "Ultimate" performance variants, various injection units and a wide range of options, the new Allrounder 470 H machines can be precisely adapted to specific customer requirements.
Live: Plastic processing you can touch
In total, over 50 exhibits produced live injection-moulded and 3D-printed components at the Anniversary Days. Numerous new products, exciting applications and innovative processes were on show. Around every second machine processed alternative plastics or recyclates. For example, an Allrounder 470 S produced dosing spoons from corn starch that dissolve in water and are compostable, while an Allrounder 320 C Golden Edition processed post-consumer recyclate obtained from used refrigerators and returned to the cycle. An invisible "tracer" was also compounded into the material, through which each part could be identified in a forgery-proof manner. In a particularly resource-saving application for the packaging industry, special emphasis was placed on a material-saving component design and energy efficiency: An Allrounder 720 A "Ultimate" produced four thin-walled IML round cups with a wall thickness of only 0.37 millimetres in a cycle time of 3.95 seconds. Combining the new all-electric packaging machine with the injection compression moulding process improves the energy footprint by 20 percent while significantly reducing the component weight from 13 to 10.8 grams.
Other application highlights included, for example, the fully automated injection stretch blow moulding of vaccine containers, the production of ready-to-use Luer Lock connectors for the pharmaceutical industry and the production of tyre levers that can be traced via an "invisible fingerprint".
Freeformer exhibits and 3D printers from innovatiQ presented the entire range for industrial additive manufacturing. One highlight was the new Freeformer 750-3X with a build chamber around 2.5 times larger and with a higher construction speed compared to the Freeformer 300-3X – with the same external dimensions. The process is also faster and more economical. Also on display were Freeformers in high-temperature and soft versions for processing plastic granules, as well as the TiQ and LiQ series, which 3D print on the basis of filaments and liquid silicone.
"Action Plan: Energy": Advice and retrofitting in demand
Energy efficiency was an important theme of the Anniversary Days 2023. The new "Action Plan: Energy" is particularly interesting in this respect. This includes advice on a host of measures to help customers significantly reduce costs in injection moulding production and optimise energy requirements throughout the entire production process, beyond the machine itself.
How existing machines can be energy-optimised through retrofits – for example with fully insulated cylinders, Arburg energy saving systems AES and IE3 class motors – was demonstrated in a practical manner in the service area. There, visitors were also able to find out how to quickly get a new warehouse machine via the customer portal app "Ready2Go". Arburg can also provide documented consumption measurements for businesses that require detailed energy data for certification.
Efficiency Arena: Focus on sustainability and digitalisation
Everything in the Efficiency Arena revolved around the key topics of digitalisation, resource conservation and the circular economy. At a total of nine stations, six on the topic of arburgGREENworld and three on arburgXworld, Arburg and selected partners along the entire value chain demonstrated how digitalisation and innovative solutions enable a sustainable circular economy. Taking centre stage was a hybrid Allrounder that produces Fischer dowels from the "Greenline" series. The plastic product consists of 50 percent castor oil. The machine was equipped with the recyclate package and Arburg's new "aXw Control RecyclatePilot", which ensures a stable shot weight by means of adaptive process control and can compensate for fluctuating material qualities. The sprues were ground immediately and fed back into the process as post industrial recyclate (PIR).
Selected partners provided information on current topics such as marking, identifying, sorting and recycling, supported by the transmission of data along the value chain.
Arburg also presented its sustainability strategies, the arburgXworld customer portal and the ALS host computer system in the Efficiency Arena.
Automation Arena: Major interest in turnkey solutions
Probably the most sought-after give-away at the event was the tool box already known from the world's leading trade fair K 2022, this time in the anniversary design. It was manufactured by a turnkey system around a hybrid Allrounder 1120 H and finished with gold Arburg lettering. Together with its partner Zahoransky, Arburg presented an innovative turnkey solution and a new process for injection stretch blow moulding in the Automation Arena: Medical vaccine containers, "vials", are produced from crystal-clear, unbreakable COC in just one work step. The pre-moulded parts were produced by a vertical Allrounder 1600 T in a special version without a rotary table. They were then transferred directly in the mould to two other stations and stretched and inflated in the process. The plan is to produce around 22 million parts a year with this system and a 16-cavity injection mould.
A turnkey system based around a hybrid Allrounder 630 H in cleanroom design was particularly sustainable and a prime example of digitally networked plastic parts production. The injection moulding machine processed crystal clear recycled PET and communicated with the mould, hot runner controller, material dryer and automation via the Gestica control system and OPC UA. 32 blood vials each were produced in a cycle time of around 6.5 seconds, which corresponds to well over 17,000 blood vials per hour.
Another highlight was a customer project with a vertical rotary table machine Allrounder 1600 T and a total of five integrated robotic systems. Another turnkey system with two integrated Allrounders boasted a high level of autonomy of around twelve hours for pallets, intermediate layers and finished products.
Success story: 100 years of the Hehl family company
On the occasion of the anniversary, there was also a special event location to visit this year: the Arburg Cube. There, visitors were able to embark on a multimedia journey through the 100-year history of the Hehl family business and also enjoy culinary delights. Another special feature of the Anniversary Days 2023 was the welcoming of the 100,000th visitor to the industry event on 8 March, which has attracted thousands of customers from all over the world to Lossburg every year since 1999.