A stroke of genius: hybrid drive system combines the benefits of electric and hydraulic technology

Electric drives are becoming increasingly important in injection moulding, particularly with regard to energy efficiency. However, hydraulic drives are not without their advantages, providing powerful injection capacities and cost efficiency. The ideal solution is to combine both drive systems, as the Allrounders from Arburg’s new generation of machines successfully demonstrate: the Allrounder 470 H anniversary machine is characterised by low acquisition and operating costs, a reduced carbon footprint and an energy requirement equivalent to that of electric machines.

To enable simultaneous movements of two secondary axes (1 and 2) using ASH technology, Arburg developed flow rate splitting.
To enable simultaneous movements of two secondary axes (1 and 2) using ASH technology, Arburg developed flow rate splitting.

The hybrid-driven injection moulding machines from Arburg’s Hidrive (H) series combine a precise electric closing unit with a dynamic hydraulic injection unit. The results of a visitor survey conducted at Arburg’s Technology Days in March 2023 confirm that the anniversary machine offers an attractive drive concept.


Hybrid technology a hit with injection moulding companies

Among those surveyed, 96% thought that the new hybrid Allrounder 470 H was a suitable replacement for hydraulic machines, while 95% considered it to be a suitable replacement for electric ones. Gerhard Boehm, Managing Director Sales and Service at Arburg, explains, "The idea behind this machine technology was well received by visitors, as evidenced by the survey results. Respondents found the concept extremely interesting – for both technical injection moulding and demanding applications, for example in the automotive and packaging industries. Our hybrid anniversary machine, which comes in three performance variants, shows that we keep our finger firmly on the pulse. We have hit the nail on the head because it saves energy, conserves resources and is production-efficient, user-friendly and reliable all at the same time. In addition, most machine operators are familiar with hydraulic injection units and can benefit fully from their advantages."


Only benefits from Arburg’s perspective

Thanks to the integration of the servo motor manufacturer AMKmotion into the Arburg family, development and production of the entire powertrain can be handled in-house. This applies primarily to Allrounder injection moulding machines, including the inverter and motor which form the centrepiece of the closing system, but also to the mould technology, for example.

The planetary roller screw drive in combination with liquid-cooled motors is ideally suited to high-end injection moulding tasks. Using this electric direct drive, which is integrated into the hybrid machines in the PREMIUM and ULTIMATE performance variants, for example, all positions can be started up extremely quickly and precisely while achieving load-resistant power transmission and a high power density over a long service life – even when the machine is running at full load.

Hydraulic injection unit: the Comfort and Premium performance variants of the hybrid Allrounder 470 H are equipped with the Arburg servo hydraulic system (ASH). Thanks to this technology, the drive system adjusts continuously to the actual power requirement.

The kinematics of the double five-point toggle system is optimally adapted to the electric drive. This provides for symmetrical force application during movements and mould locking – even with heavy moulds. The toggle can also be adapted with ease to different mould installation heights by means of a servo-electric adjustment system. Automatic clamping force regulation, which generates a consistent locking force and thus automatically compensates for the thermal expansion of the mould, is available as an option.


Dynamic hydraulic injection unit

Homogeneous material preparation and precise injection are additional prerequisites for high-quality part production. Hydraulic drives have been a staple of injection moulding for decades and for good reason: they are sophisticated, robust, durable and low maintenance. They are particularly well suited to high levels of material throughput and generate high forces that can be maintained during any length of holding pressure phase.

Depending on the performance variant, the hybrid Allrounders in the HIDRIVE series combine regulated injection, dynamic hydraulic accumulator technology and an energy-saving servo-electric dosage drive to achieve a high plasticising flow rate.

Electric clamping unit: the Premium performance variant of the hybrid Allrounder 470 H includes an electric toggle-type clamping unit as part of its standard equipment. This is energy-efficient and precise, driven by a planetary roller screw drive.


Three performance variants for optimal adaptation

"The Comfort, Premium and Ultimate performance variants of our hybrid Allrounder are optimally adapted to their respective requirements," explains Guido Frohnhaus, Managing Director Technology & Engineering at Arburg. "This new generation of machines incorporates many technical innovations that are only available from Arburg. These include a new oil management concept, flow rate splitting and extended use of the Arburg servo hydraulic system."

  • The new Allrounder 470 H Comfort machines are intended for technical, thick-walled or relatively simple moulded parts that are typically manufactured in cycle times of 10 – 45 seconds. Compared to an equivalent hydraulic machine, the energy footprint of this performance variant is up to 50% better, while the cooling water and oil requirement is reduced by up to 35%. At 1.4 seconds, the dry cycle time is also around 30% shorter. A robust ball screw is used for the drive.
  • The Premium performance variant is further optimised in terms of production efficiency, achieving a dry cycle time of 1.2 seconds. This machine can be used for a variety of demanding applications, such as manufacturing precision components for the automotive and electronics industries. Its standard equipment includes a planetary roller screw drive and the Arburg electro-mechanical dosage (AED) function for a longer dosage time. In addition, the machine features Arburg’s new flow rate splitting for simultaneous, independent movements of two hydraulic secondary axes.
  • For its part, the Ultimate performance variant is specifically designed for demanding, high-speed processes, such as thin-walled applications in the packaging technology industry. At 0.9 seconds, its dry cycle time is significantly shorter than that of the Premiuim performance variant. The standard equipment for Ultimte machines also includes AED as well as hydraulic accumulator technology and the Gestica control system with the aXw Control ScrewPilot function, which compensates for disruptions in the filling process and stabilises mould filling. All together, this provides for a level of injection precision equivalent to that of an electric injection unit. Dosage across cycles is also possible (optional feature).


Reduced energy requirement thanks to the Arburg servo hydraulic system

The Comfort and Premium performance variants are equipped with the Arburg servo hydraulic system (ASH). With this technology, the drive system adjusts continuously to the actual power requirement thanks to a speed-controlled, water-cooled servo motor. One major advantage of this is that when the machine is at a standstill, the pump drive also stops, meaning no more idling losses. This ensures energy-efficient, low-emission operation and yields up to 50% energy savings, particularly for processes with long cooling times. Depending on the specific application, the Allrounder 470 H COMFORT can save up to 12,000 kg of CO2 per year. At the same time, the machine’s cooling requirements and noise level are also significantly reduced.


Flow rate splitting reduces cycle times

As only serial movements can be performed with ASH technology alone, Arburg developed flow rate splitting to enable simultaneous movements. This function is integrated into the Premium performance variant. Thanks to the latest Varan valve technology with integrated sensor system, two hydraulic secondary axes can be driven independently at the same time, for example core pull and ejector during mould opening. The axes split the ASH servo pump’s available flow volume if required. The benefit is twofold: greater energy and production efficiency overall. This is because the machines consume significantly less energy and the cycle times are shorter. All this is possible without a hydraulic accumulator or multi-pump technology requiring a second servo motor and additional frequency converter.

In the case of the Ultimate performance variant of the hybrid Allrounder,

hydraulic accumulator technology enables all axes to move independently thanks to separate control valves.


High injection speeds

The Ultimate performance variant of the hybrid Allrounder meets the highest requirements in terms of dynamics and process capability thanks to its hydraulic accumulator technology. All axes of motion can be independently controlled and driven by means of separate control valves. The hydraulic accumulator ensures a consistent pressure level. The result: quick, dynamic simultaneous movements and more process setting options, such as injection during mould closing or embossing.

The hybrid Allrounder machine in the Ultimate performance variant can reach injection speeds of up to 450 mm per second. "In the future, Ultimate machines will even be able to reach speeds of 550 mm per second, achieving accelerations of up to 1 G," says Guido Frohnhaus proudly.



Today more than ever, the injection moulding market is in need of adaptable modular drive systems that harness the benefits of both electric and hydraulic technology – namely speed and precision paired with power and dynamics. With the new Allrounder 470 H, Arburg has created a first on the market: a modern, cost-efficient hybrid machine that meets users’ needs now and in the future. Additional sizes in the Comfort, Premium and Ultimate performance variants will follow. The new, finely graduated hybrid machine technology is comparable to all-electric machines in terms of both dry cycle times and injection speeds. Arburg’s "new hybrids" are therefore an energy-saving alternative to hydraulic machines and an economic alternative to electric ones.

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