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At Swiss Plastics 2010 Arburg demonstrated the high-precision production of optical waveguides with microstructures.

The exhibit demonstrated the performance of the electric Alldrive machine series, the wide range of applications for the Multilift robotic systems and Arburg’s expertise in the implementation of customer and sector-specific solutions.

The production cell consisted of an electric Allrounder 270 A (Alldrive), a horizontally operating Multilift H robotic system, integrated quality monitoring and peripherals.

High-precision optical waveguides with surface microstructures were produced.

Optical components of this type find use in applications such as lighting or optical waveguide technology.

The centrepiece of the automation solution was the electric Allrounder 270 A with a clamping force of 350kN and a size 70 injection unit.

‘Many trade visitors were interested in the performance potential of our smallest electric injection moulding machine,’ said Marcel Spadini, Arburg’s Swiss subsidiary manager.

‘It has a high process reliability and very quiet operation.

‘With the electric Allrounders, all of which bear the Arburg “e2” energy-efficiency label, we have a machine series that is equal to the highest production requirements with regard to precision, reproducibility and energy efficiency,’ he added.

All parts-handling tasks were managed by a horizontally-operating Arburg Multilift H robotic system.

Following removal of the moulded parts from the Advaltech AWM mould, the parts were transferred to a camera monitoring station, where they were illuminated from the side by four LEDs.

This illumination with a light source is crucial in order to check the quality and function of the optical waveguide.

Logos on the moulded part were made visible during this process.

As a special quality feature, the camera checked the brightness of the parts to ensure the most uniform replication possible.

Finally, the moulded parts were set down on a conveyor belt in a defined arrangement.

The PC granulate was prepared using an Arburg Thermolift material dryer and conveyor featuring a dry air unit.

A temperature control unit with an interface to the machine ensured a precise mould temperature, which is essential in the production of optical components, in order to prevent striation and other flaws.

All functions of the peripherals were integrated in the central Selogica control system, so that the entire complex production process, including quality checks, could be handled easily and reliably.

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