IPF 2014: Smallest Injection Machine Targets Flexible Production


Machines didn’t get much smaller at IPF 2014 than the M4-3000 from Sodick. The three-tonne was on show molding components for mobile phones. Koichi Yokoyama, Deputy General Manager of Sodick’s Advanced Research Center said the machine is ideal for serving the mobile phone sector, where product cycles are short. “The life cycle of a mobile phone could be just six months so sometimes, it makes more sense to manufacture using smaller machines, even if you have to use multiple units if production ramps up.”

The all-electric machine features a tiebarless design employing a “butterfly link” system and wide platens that allow good access to the tool and various peripherals to be attached such as cameras and take-out robots.

Another design feature of the machine is its narrow width of 540 mm (length is 2015 mm). “This enables multiple units to be installed in a molding operation with minimal floor area,” says Yokoyama.

At IPF, the machine was operating with a 10-mm-diameter plunger and a 0.99-second cycle time.