Tiny Brush Is Produced in Highly Automated Cell

Engel and two partners will show an interesting display of cell integration at Plastec West that was first shown at K2016 last October.

An all-plastic interdental brush developed by pheneo of Bremen, Germany, will be produced in an eight-cavity mold on a clean room Engel e-motion 170/110. Automated functions include taking out eight brushes, a sampling inspection of each 50th shot and the packaging of two shots each in a pouch. Use of a metal insert is not needed because even the bristles are injection molded.

Brushes with up to 500 bristles can be molded in an integrated process. (Photo: Engel)

Brush take out occurs at a typical speed of less than one second. The gripping surface, i.e. the surface of the product that the grippers can touch, is 10×10 millimeters. The brushes are held in the grippers using vacuum suction. After take out, the gripper moves to a shuttle plate, where it places the parts in specially designed holes.

Every 50th shot is driven to the left to a camera module. The other shots go directly to packaging. Five photos are made of the sample piece. Total shot weight is 1.93 grams (0.004 pound).

The mold is supplied by Hack Formenbau (Kirchheim unter Teck, Germany) and Hekuma (Eching, Germany) is responsible for the automation. A specially formulated polypropylene/TPE compound provides stability for the grip and core, while at the same time allowing for a soft bristle. The name of the compounder was not disclosed.

Plastics West will be held Feb. 7-9 in Anaheim, California.

About Doug Smock

Former Chief Editor at Plastics World and Senior Technical Editor Design News

Automation/Robots, Consumer Goods, Injection Molding, Injection Molding, Molds & Moldmaking , ,

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