“It’s a slightly different beast that complements the higher output M3,” says Jörg Schmidt, director of business development for MHS. Like its big brother, the Mini produces tiny plastic parts through direct gating into modular inserts with micro cavities. The M3 mini, however, can deliver a bigger range of shot weights, anywhere between 1 and 400 mg. The M3 mini clamp force of 20 kN (2+ metric tons) is generated by a set of industrial electromagnets.
The M3 series operate on a new rheological concept called ISOKOR that conditions the polymer for injection close to the gate. Melt residence time is significantly reduced.
There are no conventional injection molds in the M3 concept. New part designs require a 17.5 x 12 cm cavity insert plate that can be installed in less than a minute. Each insert contains six individual cavities and a typical set of micro parts would run in a cycle of 5 seconds (varies depending on part geometry).
As explained by President Harald Schmidt at K2013 where the M3 was introduced, the series offers a fast transition from prototypting to series production. It was a “Best of Show” pick by The Molding Blog. Medical applications are a key target.
At the heart of the M3 is a specialty of MHS, direct gate hot runner technology. Eliminating cold runners reduces waste in form of scrap material and leads to substantial cost savings in the molding of miniature parts.
“We will not be running a live demo of (the Mini) machine at NPE,”Jörg Schmidt told The Molding Blog. “Our focus is on valve gate technology (though technically, our micro molders are also built around valve gate technology). However, we will have new micro parts on display that were produced with the M3, some of which are as small as a grain of sand (direct gated).”