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Intelligent manufacturing of complex components

Intelligent manufacturing begins with component design, which nowadays encompasses a wide range of functions, from surface coatings through to electronics. The goal is to manufacture these complex components in integrated process steps using clever tool concepts and automated assembly steps.

Innovation symposium (7)

Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Funktions- und Prozessintegration beim Spritzgiessen

12:05 - 12:25, Halle 2


Prof. Dr. Frank Ehrig
Institutsleiter, IWK Institut für Werkstofftechnik und Kunststoffverarbeitung

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Zur Steigerung der Marktattraktivität von Produkten geht der Trend zu mehr Funktionalität und zu individuellem Design. Ziel eines laufenden Projektes ist die Realisierung hochwertiger Oberflächen für Kunststoffbauteile durch direktes Hinterspritzen und Stanzen im Werkzeug ohne Vorformen der Folien in einem vorgelagerten Thermoformprozess. In einem weiteren Projekt ist die zusätzliche Integration von Elektronik in Dekorbauteile für die Anwendung als grafische Benutzeroberfläche (GUI) bei Elektronikgeräten das Ziel. Es wird die Herstellung einer mittels IMD dekorierten Blende mit zusätzlich integrierter Sensorfolie an der Spritzgiessmaschine vorgestellt. Zusammen mit den Projektpartnern wurden die Spezifikationen und Anforderungen für jede Kundenanwendung definiert und an einer Versuchsblende umgesetzt.

Ein weiteres Spritzgiesssonderverfahren, das Thermoplastschaumspritzgiessen, wurde hinsichtlich seines Leichtbaupotenzials bewertet. Spritzgegossene Integralschäume bieten durch ihren sandwichähnlichen Aufbau ein sehr hohes Leichtbaupotential bei sehr biegesteifen Bauteileigenschaften. Verschiedene Schäumtechnologien und Kunststoffe wurden analysiert und hinsichtlich ihres Potenzials bewertet.


Kurz CV

Nach seiner Promotion und Abteilungsleitertätigkeit am IKV, Aachen, wechselte Frank Ehrig 2000 zur Weidmann Plastics Technology AG, Rapperswil, Schweiz, wo er als Leiter der Abteilung Technische Entwicklung im Geschäftsbereich Fahrzeugtechnik fungierte. Seit Ende 2005 ist Herr Ehrig als Professor an der Hochschule für Technik Rapperswil, Schweiz als Institutsleiter des IWK tätig, welches er im selben Jahr gründete. Das Institut beschäftigt heute 6 Professoren und knapp 40 Mitarbeiter.


The speech will be held in German.


Ultrasonic welding of a toy boat

12:35 - 12:45, Halle 2


Marc Hägele
Sales Manager Automotive & Plastics, SONOTRONIC Nagel GmbH

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True to original replicas

The company from Fürth-Burgfarmbach is a leading manufacturer of plastic toy vehicles in Europe and produces construction, agricultural, forestry, emergency, and commercial vehicles as well as recreational vehicles in Germany and the Czech Republic. The faithful replicas of renowned brands on a scale of 1:16 focus on high product quality and product safety.


Demanding welding task

A "Personal Water Craft" has recently been added to the product portfolio of Mittelfranken. As the first of its kind, it presented the development department at Bruder with new challenges. With the "Personal Water Craft", the "boat" cannot be injection-molded from one part or assembled from several parts, as is the case with land vehicles. No, here the hull and lid of the boat have to be welded absolutely watertight. This is because the hollow space inside the boat is important so that the boat does not sink in the water later on. Of course, the surface of the boat must not be affected by the welding, the weld seam must be virtually invisible. In order to find a suitable process and a welding machine manufacturer, Björn Ferner, head of process development at Bruder, says that he googled first of all... and was thus able to find a suitable welding machine manufacturer. SONOTRONIC attentively. "The discussions with SONOTRONIC were very professional, there was a specialist knowledge available, which is decisive for us when awarding such projects". After the first contact with Hermann Meth, buyer at Bruder, our sales representative Christine Thieringer visited the factory in Fürth and in cooperation with the developers of Bruder and our application technology team headed by Markus Hecht a suitable solution for the welding task was developed.


Welding device with robot interface

A good half a year after the request, production is now up and running: The two parts, made of blue ABS plastic, are produced on an existing injection molding machine in Bruder's plant. The robot handling of the machine removes the two parts from the injection mold and transports them directly in front of the SONOTRONIC welding device, which is located next to the system. This is a special ECO iSONIC equipped with a soundproof hood, robot interface and sliding table. The machine was designed both for manual operation for the production of prototypes and for automatic operation with loading and unloading by robot handling. An interface allows the connection to the existing removal system of Bruder.

In series production, the handling system first places the hull of the boat in the component holder and then fits the lid precisely onto it. The sliding table moves the parts into the welding machine, and the integrated lifting door closes like a safety device. In just a few seconds, the two parts are welded absolutely tightly and firmly together using ultrasound (Fig. 4). The boat parts were constructed according to the groove (in the lid) and tongue (in the hull) principle. The spring, i.e. the contour inside the fuselage, serves as an energy direction transmitter, which establishes the connection between the upper and lower parts by targeted melting. The weld is not visible from the outside and due to the low thermal load, there are no markings on the component. The component is excited by the vibration of the sonotrode at a frequency of 20 kHz and the force applied via the feed unit. According to the principle of "external and internal friction", the energy direction sensor and the contacted area in the groove plasticize. After a very short cooling phase of 0.5 seconds without ultrasonic action, the two parts are firmly connected to each other along the joining zone.

After welding, the feed unit with the welding tool returns to its home position, the lift door opens and the sliding table extends the welded boat. Since the joining zone has already cooled down, the boat can be removed directly from the handling unit and placed on the conveyor belt of the system. In another production step, the seat and steering unit is later mounted on the "Personal Water Craft", but without ultrasonic welding. This means that the toy is then packed into the packaging and finally sold in the shops, with the addition of a driver figure. It was also a very interesting project for SONOTRONIC, to which hopefully many more will follow. 

On the ultrasonic standard machine, ECO iSONIC in special design hull and lid of the toy boat are welded together absolutely tight.



Entwicklung einer Dampfeinheit

12:45 - 12:55, Halle 2


Christian Graf
Development Manager at Gimelli Engineering AG

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Die Herausforderung

Unser Kunde beauftragte die Gimelli Engineering AG mit einer Teilentwicklung von 2 Baugruppen für das Konzept eines Gerätes zur schnellen und schonenden Erhitzung von Fertiggerichten. Die Menüschale musste unter einer vertikal beweglichen Dampfeinheit bewegt werden. Reinigung und Hygiene waren neben den ernährungstechnischen Bedingungen ebenfalls zu berücksichtigen.


CV Referent

Als Leiter Entwicklung und Mitglied der Geschäftsleitung vermittelt Christian Graf, dipl. Maschineningenieur FH, auch als Kursleiter im Samariterwesen Wissen, pflegt Kontakt und hilft anderen. 


This speech will be held in German. 


Exhibitors presenting content in this topic (17)


ENGEL is one of the global leaders in the manufacture of plastics processing machines. Today, the ENGEL Group offers a full range of technology…



Hall 1 / A 1001

EWIKON Heißkanalsysteme GmbH

Innovative Heißkanal-Systemlösungen



Hall 2 / D 2107

FANUC Switzerland GmbH

With over 60 years experience in the development of CNC technologies, more than 22.5 million installed products and over 6000 employees worldwide,…



Hall 1 / B 1033

Gimelli Engineering AG

We believe in a world where products and production infrastructure focus on human needs and are fair and transparent to all stakeholders, especially…



Hall 1 / D 1095

GRAFE Advanced Polymers GmbH

FUTURE IN PLASTICS - The company GRAFE Advanced Polymers GmbH from Blankenhain is a specialist in the modification of thermoplastics.



Hall 2 / D 2115

Herrmann Ultraschalltechnik GmbH & Co. KG

Herrmann Ultraschall is a world leader in ultrasonic welding with five decades of expertise. With our 360 ° ULTRASONIC ENGINEERING we offer…



Hall 1 / B 1054

IWK Institut für Werkstofftechnik und Kunststoffverarbeitung

IWK - the combination of science and practice for innovative solutions with modern materials, production processes and multi-material technology



Hall 1 / C 1070

Konica Minolta Sensing Europe B.V.

The Standard in Measuring Color and Light



Hall 1 / B 1050

KraussMaffei (Schweiz) AG

Die Produktmarke KraussMaffei steht international für wegweisende und technologieübergreifende System- und Verfahrenslösungen in der Spritzgieß- und…



Hall 2 / D 2101

MAPAG Maschinen AG

Your satisfaction is our motivation. MAPAG Maschinen AG is representing Sumitomo (SHI) Demag in the injection moulding sector for over 20 years and…



Hall 1 / B 1031

Mythentec AG

Mythentec provides a wide range of services for your projects with a corresponding depth of dedication. Our team is committed to delivering a maximum…



Hall 2 / C 2075

ProByLas AG

ProByLas AG offers machines and machine modules for plastic welding with laser. Thanks to their modularity, the ready-to-use Turnkey machines can be…

Root D4


Hall 2 / D 2111

Regloplas AG

Temperature Control. Smart. Reliable

St. Gallen


Hall 1 / A 1003


RINCO ULTRASONICS is a leading company in the field of ultrasonic welding and cutting technology. With over 130 employees, a presence in more than 40…



Hall 2 / B 2049

Sarac Plastic Technologies

SARAC manufactures a wide range of new generation ServoTech injection molding machines built to European standards utilizing proven high-quality…



Hall 1 / A 1007


SONOTRONIC develops and builds machines for joining injection moulded and extruded plastic parts. For this, we deploy either ultrasonic, infrared or…



Hall 2 / A 2021

Zühlke Engineering AG

«empowering ideas» - that is our mission. We enable our clients to achieve business innovation, from first idea to success in their markets.



Hall 2 / A 2038

About the topic

Intelligent manufacturing begins with component design, which nowadays encompasses a wide range of functions, from surface coatings through to electronics. The goal is to manufacture these complex components in integrated process steps using clever tool concepts and automated assembly steps.

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