016 Injection Molding: Rapid Pace of Development of New Machines & Controls

With machine sales continuing at a high level, K Show exhibitors pulled out the stops for “world premiere” introductions of new machines, controls, and imaginative applications of automation. Many of these innovations were previewed in our September pre-show report and in other news items over the past few months, but machine builders held back a large number of new products and upgrades for unveiling at the show itself. This post-show roundup focuses on those developments not previously revealed and on additional details about some of the new entries already reported.

The late-breaking news continues certain themes already evident in the pre-show news:

• Servo drives are an almost indispensable feature of new machine systems;
• Multicomponent molding gains ever-increasing attention;
• Controls are adopting gesture-based multitouch commands used on smartphones and tablets; • Stored libraries of materials data are adding sophistication to process controls;
• Connectivity for Industry 4.0 and the “smart factory” movement is a growing imperative.

Look for other K Show news in this month’s Starting Up and Keeping Up departments. Next month, we’ll cover K 2016 news in robots, hot runners, and tooling.

As noted in our September show preview, the push toward “smart factories” under the banner of “Industry 4.0” was a more visible theme than at any previous plas- tics show. One surprise announcement on that theme was the acquisition of Austrian MES software developer T.I.G. by Engel Austria (Engel Machinery, Inc., York, Pa.). The MES (manufacturing execution system) is seen as a hub for communications between machines, which is an essential feature of Industry 4.0. Engel had worked for some time with T.I.G. in developing Engel’s e-factory MES. Now, T.I.G. will be managed as an independent subsidiary within the Engel Group, and two MES solutions—Engel’s e-factory and T.I.G.’s authentig—will remain available and continue to evolve separately. Even so, a competing machine supplier, Wittmann Battenfeld, will discontinue its collaboration with T.I.G. and seek a different partner to develop an MES connection as part of its Industry 4.0 strategy.

Making machines more intelligent is another aspect of Industry 4.0. KraussMaffei (KraussMaffei Corp., Injection Molding Technology, Florence, Ky.) offered more details on its new APC plus Adaptive Process Control software. Unlike the earlier APC, the new “plus” version takes into account stored data on 20 basic materials with different filler types in a dropdown menu. For example, it uses melt-compressibility data to take corrective action in the holding-pressure phase. KM does its own materials testing and can test specific materials for customers.

Read more: K 2016 Injection Molding: Rapid Pace of Development of New Machines & Controls 

What Makes America’s New Ford-Class Aircraft Carrier Truly Dangerous

Some of the most important mechanic advancements are deep inside the ship – part of the revamped elevator system used to carry bombs, missiles and other aircraft-loaded equipment from the Ford’s bowels to the vessel’s higher decks.

Slated for springtime delivery, the aircraft carrier CVN 78 Gerald Ford has sparked much interest in its technological breakthroughs for launching and recovering aircraft – as well as new systems to cut down on the number of sailors that run the ship and run up the costs of operating the vessel.

But some of the most important mechanic advancements are deep inside the ship – part of the revamped elevator system used to carry bombs, missiles and other aircraft-loaded equipment from the Ford’s bowels to the vessel’s higher decks.

The 10 elevators have to carry up to about 200,000 pounds of weapons from the main deck magazine to the flight deck preparation area, according to Newport News shipbuilders at Hunting Ingalls Industries’ Newport News Shipbuilding unit.

That ship-climbing trek is comparable to going form the basement to the roof of an extremely large city skyscraper, carrying about 100 tons, all within a minute.

Shipbuilders wired the elevator up for more electricity using linear motors, replacing the rope-and-wheel systems that required a great deal more manpower to operate and maintain.

With the new system, shipbuilders say, the elevators can carry two times the weight as the previous system, covering the distance in about third the time. Increasing the carrying power and cutting the operating speed were key in providing the Ford with the quicker sortie rate that has been one of the ships selling points. Getting aircraft on and off the ship at a faster clip means little if the aerial platforms are not properly armed or loaded.

Read more: What Makes America’s New Ford-Class Aircraft Carrier Truly Dangerous 

Deepwater Hydraulic Well Intervention: A Creative Hybrid Solution

This technical paper describes the planning and execution of a multiservice-vessel (MSV) -based hydraulic-intervention campaign in Chevron’s Tahiti field in the US Gulf of Mexico. The five-well campaign was executed incident-free during 2015, delivering a total treatment volume of almost 30,000 bbl, resulting in 8,500‑BOPD gross initial production uplift and cost savings of 85% in comparison with traditional rig-based methods.


The Tahiti reservoirs comprise stacked turbidite sandstone deposits. The three major reservoirs are M-XX, M-YY, and M-ZZ, which account for approximately 82, 9, and 9% of proved reserves in the field, respectively. The M-XX reservoir, of which all intervention candidate wells are a subset, is further separated into two distinct pay intervals, the M-XXA and the M-XXB. Tahiti producers are installed as cased-hole frac-packed completions, with stacked frac packs and commingled production the norm for these M-XXA and M-XXB wells. Of the six “first-oil” production wells, there are two exceptions to this norm; one well (Well 2) was completed in the M-XXA interval only, and another well (Well 5) was completed as a single-trip frac pack across the two M-XXA and M-XXB intervals.

All Tahiti wells are installed with downhole gauges, which, in conjunction with subsea trees and topside instrumentation, allow continuous real-time monitoring of pressure, temperature, and rate-estimate profiles.

Over the 1–2 years following attainment of peak production, results of routine well tests showed noticeable ­productivity-index (PI) declines on several wells, and pressure-transient-­analysis evaluations revealed significant skin increases. By the time of mobilization on the subject-well intervention campaign, skin values on the candidate wells would range from 36 to 212, with PI values as low as 3 to 30% of original levels, and one well (Well 2) was pre-emptively shut in to preserve productivity/injectivity in order to allow successful hydraulic intervention. A dedicated initiative to integrate specific field data, laboratory data, and simulation modeling led to the diagnosis of fines migration as the primary contributor to skin issues. Acid stimulation became the identified solution, thus initiating detailed core testing, fluid-compatibility testing, and ­materials-compatibility qualification regimes to qualify a suitable formulation. Ultimately, a combination organic-acid/mud-acid formulation was selected. With this key qualification milestone achieved, and presented with a single-well acid-stimulation opportunity that was enabled by a rig-availability slot and a candidate well that was known to be beyond the pressure rating of available subsea-well-intervention systems, a rig-based early acid-stimulation job was performed in late 2014.

Phase Two of Tahiti’s staged field development successfully maneuvered the startup and early-life operations phases, which brought about the onset of water injection. Water injection specifically targeted the primary M-XX reservoir, and introduced the concept of scaling risk to the production wells. However, given the varying proximities of M-XX production and injection wells, only a subset of the producers are considered to be at risk. Engineering efforts were initiated toward an MSV-based deployment system and related subsea hardware specifically suited for application for the Tahiti infrastructure.

Read more: Deepwater Hydraulic Well Intervention: A Creative Hybrid Solution

Aircraft Hydraulic System Market Plying for Significant Growth During 2017-2025

Global Aircraft Hydraulic System Market: Introduction

Factors such as rise in global air travel and surge in new aircraft deliveries in countries such as China, Mexico, Brazil and India are estimated to be the key growth drivers in the global aircraft hydraulic system market.

Hydraulic systems have experienced a major transformation in terms of weight (they have become lighter over the years), simplification of inspection, ease of installation and maintenance requirements (latest hydraulic systems demand minimum maintenance). Hydraulic systems are not new to the aircraft market. In the past, aircrafts have used hydraulic brake systems. As the aircraft industry is evolving, manufacturers are coming up with newer systems. Hydraulic power systems were developed to meet the requirements of the modern-day aircraft industry.

Aircraft hydraulic systems enhance the efficiency of an aircraft’s components. Aircraft hydraulic systems facilitate easy operation of flaps, landing gear, brakes and flight control surfaces in aircrafts. The complexity of aircraft hydraulic systems depends on the size of the aircraft. For instance, smaller size aircrafts need hydraulic fluid only for wheel brakes. Larger size commercial aircrafts, on the other hand, require hydraulic systems that are complex and large in size. To achieve the essential consistency, an aircraft hydraulic system may consist of several subsystems. Each subsystem include actuators & filters, reservoir, pump, vane & spur gear, hydraulic fluid, pressure regulator, accumulator, valves and others (connectors).

Aircraft hydraulic systems have many advantages such as lower cooling cost, high reliability, load handling capacity and high power to weight ratio. Such beneficial parameters are estimated to spur the global aircraft hydraulic system market over the forecast period.

Global Aircraft Hydraulic System Market: Dynamics
Rise in global air travel and surge in new aircraft deliveries are the primary factors driving the growth of the global aircraft hydraulic system market. The demand for new aircrafts from countries such as China, Mexico, Brazil and India is increasing and this is expected to affect the global aircraft hydraulic systems market in a positive way.

Furthermore, attractive investments in research & development of aircraft hydraulic systems by developed nations to investigate the scope of reliability, load handling capacity and high power to weight ratio will work in favour of the global aircraft hydraulic system market.

Read more: Aircraft Hydraulic System Market Plying for Significant Growth During 2017-2025 

Machines to provide flexibility for mould makers

The CX series is a compact, efficient and flexible two-panel machine with a clamping force range from 350 to 6500 kN. At the joint booth of the VDWF (German Tool and Mold Making Association), a CXZ 80-380/180 machine with a clamping force of 800 kN will demonstrate the advantages and disadvantages of a plastics-specific or non-plastics specific component design, using a two-component application. The component is separated by colour. The plastics-specific design is marked by the blue zone, the non-plastics specific area by a red zone.

The design of the CX series, which is both compact and efficient, also offers advantages for the fast and convenient set-up of moulds. This is supported by the good accessibility of the ejector area and the option of easily fastening additional ejectors or unscrewing units. The wide doors, which can be opened all the way, permit easy access too.

Furthermore, the CX series allows for the use of large plates/panels and high mould weights. Plasticising units can be easily replaced in CX machines, thanks to their quick mould clamping systems using cylinders and their adaptation to small screw diameters. Here, the MC6 control system automatically detects the installed screw size and makes the necessary adjustments automatically.

Optionally, the CX can be equipped with an enlarged space for the clamping unit, which in turn, allows for enlarging the inside diameter and increasing the opening width. In addition, the good plate parallelism and the smooth-running clamping unit ensure that mould wear is minimised, the company notes.

Read more: Machines to provide flexibility for mould makers

Teagle launches high capacity straw processor

Teagle’s 75 year history has predominately been made up of equipment for livestock farms, and its latest development is set to be the firm’s most sophisticated machine to date.

Sales director, Tom Teagle, says: “Livestock farmers are becoming ever more technical and discerning when it comes to feeding their animals, and while our current range of Tomahawk dual-chop bedders and mills provide the ability to bed loose-pens and chop straw for feeding, they are not suited to accurately processing large volumes of straw for inclusion in total mixed rations (TMR).”

Aiming to fill this gap, Teagle’s latest Tomahawk C12 Calibrator has been driven by demand from the UK, Germany, France and Eastern Europe, for a high-output machine which can consistently process straw bales to short chop lengths.

Teagle’s UK sales manager, Jim Squires, says: “While other machines are available, either they do not feature a sieve-like system as fitted on our machine or they are produced in North-America, and require costly adaptions to be homologated for our roads.”

Mr Squires adds many farmers use mixer wagons to process straw, which takes a long time to chop most of the straw, does not provide consistency in chop lengths and can cause excessive wear to the mixer’s knives and tub.

Following four years of development by a team of 15 engineers, the latest prototype Tomahawk C12 machines have undergone 18 months of on-farm testing.

Throughout this time, Teagle says it has worked with Three Counties Feeds nutritionist Andy Hawken, to ensure the machine is providing value to the end-user.

Read more: Teagle launches high capacity straw processor

Six Unique Challenges Of Subsea Cylinders

During recent decades the world has seen a decrease in coal mining, and many nations have raised concerns about the environmental impact of other types of land-based fuel sources. This has resulted in a move toward farming the sea for its rich energy sources— tidal energy, ocean energy and the piping of deepsea liquefied gas and oil. All of these resources need to be gathered with the greatest of care for the sake of the precarious oceanic environment and respect for the dangers that the oceans can pose for personnel working in these remote locations.

Fabrications placed on the seabed need to be durable and reliable to ensure the safety of personnel while avoiding any environmental disasters that could result from faulty machinery.

Highlighted below are six of the most challenging issues companies might face when producing hydraulics to be used within the subsea industry.

Remote locations

Many oil and gas wells are located off the coast of remote parts of Australia or South America, thousands of miles away from the cities where the hydraulic cylinders are manufactured. The main base is often an oil rig or floating LNG station many miles out in the sea. Beneath this base the fabrication being placed on the seabed can be hundreds of meters under water. The hydraulics used in these fabrications are among the most remote hydraulic systems in the world, and this means all hydraulic cylinders need to be precisely designed, manufactured and stringently tested to ensure they work the first time with no room for error. There is no scope for simply returning faulty machinery to the factory for repairs.

Read more: Six Unique Challenges Of Subsea Cylinders

New Holland Boomer 35-55 HP Series offers easy-to-operate tractor for any job

The New Holland Boomer 35-55 HP Series offers operators an easy-to-operate tractor for all their needs – from large property to small-scale landscaping projects.

The tractor’s exceptional power, maneuverability and simple maintenance makes it an ideal choice for homeowners, landscapers and part-time farmers.

Introduced this year, the New Holland Boomer 35-55 HP Series offers dozens of attachments and accessories to handle a multitude of jobs. Whether the operator uses the tractor to maintain a few acres of land or depends on it to make a living, Boomer compact tractors always come through.

“We now have a three-cylinder, turbocharged, direct-injected diesel engine,” said Todd DeBock, New Holland under 60 HP tractor marketing manager. “It features a common-rail direct fuel management system, like we have in our larger agricultural tractors. What it’s going to do for our customers is offer better torque backup, better fuel efficiency and it meets the stringent Tier-4B emissions standards with a fully automatic system that requires no customer intervention. From a performance standpoint, that’s going to be a big plus.”

All-weather comfort

For supreme comfort and protection from the elements, operators can enjoy all the bells and whistles of the Boomer’s factory-installed cab. Not only is it very roomy, but if offers an adjustable seat, as well as extremely accessible control placements that are color-coded.

“Customers will be able to take advantage of the improved engine performance in a cab that’s very comfortable,” said DeBock. “The Boomer offers a very wide entry threshold.”

The Boomer’s climate control system provides heat to keep operators warm in the winter and air conditioning to cool them off during the dog days of summer. Side and rear windows open as well to provide natural ventilation during mild weather.

Another key feature for the Boomer 35-55 HP Series is the fact the tractors offer operators a superior vantage point. With extensive glass surroundings, extending from floor to ceiling at the front and through the two doors at the side, operators will have excellent 360-degree visibility.

Read more: New Holland Boomer 35-55 HP Series offers easy-to-operate tractor for any job

Hydraulic Hose Handles the Pressure, and the Heat

Growing demands for equipment that’s productive, efficient, and easy on the environment increasingly means hydraulic systems must work at higher pressures, withstand higher temperatures, and be compatible with environmentally “friendly” fluids, all while lasting longer. These requirements certainly hold true for hydraulic hose.

Engineers designing fluid-power circuits often follow the “STAMPED” process for selecting hydraulic hose and couplings. Developed some years ago by the National Assn. of Hose and Accessory Distributors, the acronym relates to the seven major areas of consideration for hose selection: size, temperature, application, material, pressure, ends, and delivery. As manufacturers respond to tougher applications with a myriad of new hoses, it’s a good idea to revisit these selection factors.

Designers must adequately size the inside diameter of a hose to minimize pressure loss and turbulence. Turbulent conditions reduce efficiency and generate heat that can damage the hose. Nomographic charts (such as the one shown nearby) can help engineers size hoses for given hydraulic conditions.

Fluid velocity should not exceed the values shown in the right-hand column brackets. Higher velocities in pressure lines are generally acceptable for short durations. However, fluid velocity in suction lines should always fall within the recommended range to ensure efficient pump operation.

When replacing a used hose assembly, read the layline printing on the side of the original hose to determine size. If the layline is painted over or worn off, cut the old hose and measure the ID. Prior to cutting, measure the overall length and coupling orientation. This will make it easier to build a replacement and match the couplings to mating ports.

Do not use outside diameter to identify the hose ID — save for a few exceptions. (See “Sizing hose and couplings.”) Hoses vary with the wall thickness and OD, even though ID may be the same. OD is a factor when hose requires clamps or goes through bulkheads. Here, it is best to check individual hose specifications.

Hoses that meet or exceed SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) performance specs but are smaller than standard hose can be good choices. Thanks to better materials, “hybrid” hoses have thinner tubes and covers, smaller-diameter wire reinforcement, and more-aggressive braid-reinforcement angles. The result: hoses with the same ID but smaller OD, making them more flexible and 10 to 15% lighter than earlier-generation products.

Read more: Hydraulic Hose Handles the Pressure, and the Heat

Designed for operators

North American small-lift mobile crane producer Broderson Manufacturing will introduce two new cab-down rough-terrain cranes and two new carry deck cranes at ConExpo 2017 in Las Vegas. The 20t RT400, featuring a 68ft main boom, and the 25t RT500, with a 76ft main boom, have production delivery dates of March and June 2017 respectively.

The two cranes have compact footprints for use in tight spaces, easy operator exit and entry, Cummins Tier 4 final engine packages and state-of-the-art rated capacity limiter systems (LMI). Air conditioning is standard for operator comfort while precision controls increase performance efficiency.

The RT400 was designed from the ground up, intended to be the preferred replacement for the Galion 150, the 15t cab-down, rough-terrain crane that is no longer produced or supported by the manufacturer.

The RT400 has a similar footprint to the Galion and more power. According to Broderson, the 103gpm redundant dual hydraulic pump design offers nearly twice the hydraulic capacity of competitor models.

The precision controls are easy to service and maintain; the RT500 has many of the design features of the RT400 with the exception of a joystick-operated, electronic control system. These controls are operator preferred on this size of crane.

The RT500 is ideal when a bigger lift chart and longer boom lengths are required.

Broderson is extending its market-leading carry deck crane line with two new models: the IC100, 10t, with 35ft main boom; and the IC600, 30t, with 70ft main boom. Production delivery dates are scheduled for March and August 2017 respectively.

Like the two new RT cranes, these machines have compact footprints for use in tight spaces, easy operator exit and entry, Cummins Tier 4 final engine packages and state-of-the-art rated capacity limiter systems (LMIs). Air conditioning and precision controls are also standard.

The IC600, with its 30t capacity, will be the largest capacity, longest-reach carry deck crane on the market. An electronic joystick operated control system satisfies operator preference over hydraulic controls for a crane of this size.

The IC100 boasts a new boom design mounted to the same rugged structure, power train and hydraulic system of the legendary BMC IC80 workhorse.
Fully hydraulic controls offer smooth and precise operation and are easy to service and maintain.

This new crane delivers ten more tons of capacity for increased performance over the IC80 model.

Read more: Designed for operators