Plastics News - Show Daily - October 20, 2023 - 4

4 * Plastics News, October 20, 2023
FAKUMA SHOW DAILY
Billion adds technology center
press for recycled-content trials
BILLION SAS
Hall B3, Booth 3104
Processing recyclate
Many plastic processors are
asking how much regrind they
can use to meet sustainability
goals. To maximize the amount,
the Select 2 presses have an
Easycontrol brand system that
measures material viscosity in
the barrel and adjusts the injecting
parameters.
" A lot of customers have topdown
initiatives to have 40 percent
regrind in their projects by a
certain date, " Kiesl said.
However, the regrind varies between
batches by properties and
even temperatures if some was
left outside.
Billion SAS is
making parts at
Fakuma featuring a
recycled inner core
with virgin material
on the surface.
Plastics News photos by
Caroline Seidel
By Catherine Kavanaugh
Plastics News Staff
Bellignat, France-based Billion
SAS will take delivery soon of an
800-ton GM model press to conduct
product trials for customers
that want to use more recycled
material.
The injection molding machine
builder is installing one of its own
mid-range presses at its technical
center in Oyonnax, France, to
meet demand for tests of products
that have a layer of post-industrial
or post-consumer material
sandwiched between layers of
virgin material to meet corporate
sustainability goals.
" A lot of times the cosmetic
and packaging industries want a
nice surface outside and to say
they used X amount of recycled
material, " Billion General Director
Georg Kiesl said at Fakuma 2023.
" With this process, they can use
40 percent regrind, but on the outside,
you can't tell. "
Until recently, about 20 percent
of mold trials were done
for projects involving sandwich
layers. Now it's probably 80 percent,
Kiesl said.
" We've added the 800-ton machine
in our technical center to
do trials on big parts, with regrind
that mainly comes out of construction,
like fl oor tiles and roofi ng
tiles. There's been a big increase
in trial demand, " Kiesl said.
For the sandwich technology, Billion's
presses are equipped with a
special nozzle designed to produce
extra-thin walls to 0.7 millimeters.
" We've run applications in competition
with other molders, "
Kiesl said. " Some big customers
have come in and tried molds
throughout town. Then, they
came back to us and said we're
able to have the highest amount
of regrind inside. "
Select 2 launches
At Fakuma, the next generation
of the all-electric Select machine
series - the Select 2 series - was
introduced. The presses are designed
for overmolding and sandwich
technologies and are available
in single- and twin-shot models.
The Select 200 T press at the
trade show is in an automated
production cell that is working
triple time making beach ball
rackets from recycled polypropylene
using the sandwich process,
then overmolding the handle and
in-mold labeling a design.
The Select 2 series presses are
being rolled out for certain tonnages,
not everything yet, Kiesl
said. The big differences between
the two series of machines are energy
consumption, changes to the
clamping unit to handle large and
bulky loads, and continuous lubrication
of the ball screw.
To reduce energy usage, Kiesl
said, " We took resistance out of
the machine's clamping unit. The
movable platen actually glides
on the tie bars, so we're taking a
little friction out to reduce energy
use. The machines also offer
more performance. We can run
faster cycle times. "
" Depending on how fl uid the
material gets, you might have
an overshot or undershot. The
part might be nicely fi nished or
not. The machine measures how
well the melt is inside the barrel
and adjusts it directly. That's
quite unique to us. We're able to
adjust it within the same cycle.
We measure it and adjust it immediately.
With a lot of the other
systems, you measure it and
you adjust in the next cycle. So
you're always running behind a
little bit. We're doing it in a real-time
basis. "
Looking ahead
Kiesl said 2023 has been a quiet
year, but he expects sales activities
to pick up in the new year.
" 2021 was a great year for us,
and coming into 2022, we were
working off that demand and it
was still going somewhat well. Toward
the end of 2022, you could
feel things slow down, and 2023
was a slowdown without question, "
Kiesl said.
He sees a trend in the market
Georg Kiesl from
Billion SAS at
Fakuma 2023 in
Friedrichshafen,
Germany.
At Fakuma, two injection units
bring the virgin and recycled materials
together. The virgin material
is fi rst injected in the mold, covering
the outer side of the part.
The second material is injected in
the middle of the part. Then, the
mold is closed with a second injection
of the virgin material.
After that, a third material is injected
via Billion's plug-and-play
injection unit. The thermoplastic
elastomer material is overmolded
on the racket handle to create a
soft touch and easy grip.
In-mold labeling technology
by partner MIHB, which is also
a molder, helps to complete the
process, eliminating the need for
an adhesive label while providing
a quality decoration that is integrated
into the part.
The in-mold labeling, part
transfer from one cavity to the
other and fi nal part extraction are
handled by robot.
Billion presses have larger platen
sizes and further tie bar distances
so there is space to have
complex tools inside the machine.
" We're less limited, and that's
something we're quite proud of.
Platen-size wise, we're among the
biggest in the industry for electric
machines of that tonnage, "
Kiesl said.
toward Chinese companies supplying
most standard equipment
and is relieved Billion won't be
too affected.
" Luckily, it touches us less, but
when you talk about the industry
as a whole, it's something you
feel, " Kiesl said. " A lot of small
simple machines are now Chinese
machines, and it used to be other
manufacturers. "
Looking ahead to next year, he
added: " Given we're independent
of standard equipment - and the
automotive industry - we feel
quite comfortable with the push
to sandwich and the demand we
see there. Markets that have been
traditionally strong with us, like
cosmetic packaging, are starting
to pick this up. "
Billion is focused on value-add
applications like multishots.
" We're not in a low-price fi ght.
It's value-based, " Kiesl said.
Billion also is moving into more
international markets.
" We're very focused on France
and Europe, "
Kiesl
said. " The
United Kingdom is going quite
well for us, and we're also now
going more to North America,
particularly Mexico, especially in
a reshoring or near-shoring trend.
And Canada is saying we want
more local production. "

Plastics News - Show Daily - October 20, 2023

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Plastics News - Show Daily - October 20, 2023 - 1
Plastics News - Show Daily - October 20, 2023 - 2
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Plastics News - Show Daily - October 20, 2023 - 4
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