User report Oskar Lehmann

Injection moulding systems with servo drive technology - More flexibility with low operating costs

A second generation medium-sized plastics processor invested in a new compact production island. By investing in injection moulding systems with servomotor pump drives, the company was able to save around 20,000 euros in energy costs, so that the return on investment is quickly achieved.

The plant manager of the plastics processor Oskar Lehmann (OL) in Blomberg-Donop is satisfied with the investment in the new compact production island in production hall 2. Eight Boy 35 E injection moulding machines, including removal automation and sprue mills, have been installed together in a space-optimised manner.

The family-run company has been producing tailor-made solutions in the field of plastics technology for over 55 years. The company's own toolmaking and design departments expand the service portfolio for the office and contract furniture sector, vehicle construction, measurement and control technology, shop and shelf construction, metal construction, health and rehabilitation. The plastics processor uses a large portfolio of materials, including PE, PP, LDPE, EVA, POM, PTFE, PA 6, PVC, felt, PS and ABS. Originally, company founder Oskar Lehmann wanted to produce and market injection moulding machines in 1961. But then he had the idea to produce technical plastic parts with machines he had built himself. The company, which grew in the following years, set up its own tool shop and the number of injection moulding machines in production grew steadily.

Compact system was the door opener

Bernd Flakowski recalls that the first Boy injection moulding machine was purchased in 2011. "OL had to produce extremely small plastic parts with low weight. With the Boy XS, which was launched on the market in 2009, we were able to optimally meet our requirements for sprueless injection and cassette technology," explains the plant manager. This laid the foundation for a long-term business relationship. Over the next six years, another twelve Boy 35 E injection moulding machines were ordered from the manufacturer in Neustadt-Fernthal. "With these somewhat larger machines than the Boy XS, it was the high energy efficiency in particular that made the purchase decision," says Melanie Lehmann, daughter of company founder Oskar Lehmann, who has managed the successful company together with her father since 2007. With the new machine technology, the plastics processor was able to save around 65 percent energy. Evaluations by the company's internal energy management officer Alexander Maiß confirm this. Of course, the savings also have an effect on the parts calculation and the competitiveness of the company.

With the market launch of the servomotor pump drive in 2006, the machine supplier Boy set a milestone in terms of dynamics and efficiency. Compared to the DFE pumps with electronically controlled variable displacement pumps that were widely used up to then, the servomotor consumes significantly less drive energy (minus 70 percent, depending on the application). The pump only runs when power is required. This avoids no-load losses. Even the not insignificant amount of cooling energy could be significantly reduced by up to 80 percent with the servo drive technology. The machine manufacturer from Neustadt-Fernthal has announced an average value of 50 percent as a guideline value for the savings potential of the servo drive of the E series.

Bernd Flakowski notes: "All of our 35 series shine with maximum energy efficiency thanks to the servo motor pump drive. Equipped with the OPC-UA interface, the Boy injection moulding machines equipped with the modern Procan Alpha machine control system offer trouble-free integration into our existing PDA system. With the in-house system, OL monitors machine availability, controls production processes and provides the basis for all quality-relevant controls from incoming goods to production. The system can also be used to query and evaluate all customer-specific process data. The basics of industry 4.0 are already being implemented in OL.

Fit for Industry 4.0

A Boy 50 E has recently been added to OL's machine park. The company has acquired the larger machine of the proven E series in order to meet the increased requirements for the integration of automation and peripheral devices with this injection moulding machine. Further reasons are the use of modern computer systems in the value-added process and the consistent further qualification of the employees.

With a clamping force of 500 kN and significantly larger tie-bar and platen spacings than with the 35-tonne machines, there are numerous approaches to solving the customer-specific requirements of the DIN EN ISO 9001:2015-certified company. For many years, the customer service of the mechanical engineering company, Dirk Steinbach in his function as a sales employee and technical consultant on site, as well as the Boy application technology team have been supporting the plastics processor competently and reliably, even with tricky customer requirements.