Injection moulding – going electric?

A recent article from British Plastics has confirmed the use of all-electric manufacturing technology is significantly increasing. It highlights that in 2018, the UK injection moulding market was spilt 26% electric/74% hydraulic – and it’s been predicted that the UK industry’s adoption of all-electric machinery for 2019 will have risen to 30%. In addition, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag reports that over half of its new UK machine sales in 2019 were from its electric range.

Hymid’s Arburg AllRounder 370E E-Drive Injection Moulding Machine

So just why are injection moulders going electric? Benefits such as shorter cycle times, greater precision and lower maintenance costs have all been cited – which means the ability to add value to our customers whilst delivering an improved ROI.

Not to mention the environmental impact. The drives on all-electric moulding machines only utilise electricity as and when required (compared to hydraulic machines which are ‘always-on’). This means a significant reduction in energy use – and given that kinetic energy can be recovered and reused, there’s no competition when it comes to which process has a significantly lower environmental impact.

We believe that there’s plenty of compelling reasons why electrifying the industry is a positive move. In addition to the above, electric machines are much cleaner when in operation (there’s a lower likelihood of oil leaks, for example) and are therefore favoured by clients requiring plastic components to be moulded in a controlled environment; especially in medical and instrumentation. We have one all-electric machine and two hybrid machines that are a mixture of electric and hydraulic, enabling us to offer the best of both worlds.

But remember, there is one downside; although electric machines are more cost-effective to run than hydraulic machines, they cost considerably more to buy – so the buying decision has to be sound. Hymid took the leap three years ago and haven’t looked back!

So with all-electric machines, it is possible to deliver improved cycle times whilst maintaining part quality, as well as improving energy efficiency and reducing emissions – which can only be a good thing.