NEWS

2019.12.03

YIZUMI novelties based on trends in automotive and urban mobility

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The pressure to reduce emissions and the wish of people concerning mobility leads to new concepts in automotive. Talking about electric cars, e-scooter or other ways for urban transports, light weight design is one of the most important headlines. The look and feel of thereby used polymers have to have a perfect surface and high-quality design. From these statements the importance of the future topics are related for the plastics machinery industry:

  • -Lightweight Design

  • -Combination Technology

  • -Plastics Industry 4.0

  • -3D Printing

These headlines have likewise strategic importance to the product development of YIZUMI.


Lightweight technologies

The well-known foam injection moulding process is ideal for manufacturing lightweight products. Yizumi developed a new screw design to increase the process to higher recovery rates and better performance for glassfiber filled polymers. In addition, the price of the equipment decreases significant. In Germany Yizumi is part of a standardisation team which is defining a new standard for the production based on foam injection moulding. Meanwhile also the disadvantage of foam injection moulding – poor surface quality – is solved. Based on a thin ceramic layer in the cavity walls of the tool you get a perfect surface for a low amount of investment cost.

Physical foam injection moulding related technologies like Water Injection Technology (WIT) or Gas Injection Technology (GIT) are also developed and offered to customers. In this special case we work close together with our network partner PME fluidtec in Germany. Based on the WIT process for example, you produce in thick wall areas of plastic parts cavities or hollow spaces to lower the weight of the final part. In addition, you decrease the cooling time pretty much and prevent shrinkage.

Lightweight design often means to replace a part which is designed on a metal material base by a plastic part. Consequently, you have to choose for the final design of the part a polymer with high mechanical properties: You have to process fiber reinforced plastics. Together with our German network partner C4PP we developed the Direct Injection Moulding (DIM) process.

The advantage of the DIM process is the significant reduction of material cost down to 50% of the original market cost. An injection moulding machine is equipped with a special mixing screw. In the area of the metering section of the plastification unit a fiber cutting and stuffing device is connected to the injection moulding machine. The fiber length can be varied by the cutting device and the amount of fibres can be changed by changing the speed of the unit and/or can be changed by the number of rovings which are fed into the device.

As a result you do not need to purchase high priced fiber filled plastics anymore. You purchase cheap standard resins and cheap fiber roving and produce your own compound on your machine while processing. Glassfibers as well as natural fibers or carbon fibers are suitable.


Combination Technology

As already mentioned in the introduction of this article, the look and feel of plastic parts plays a tremendous role in our business. Especially in foam injection moulding long time only the rapid heating cooling method guaranties shiny surface quality – but with the disadvantage of higher investment cost and longer cycle time during production. The simple ceramic coating of the tool cavity walls brought the breakthrough.  

The Combination Technology or Integrative Technology offers a wide variety of methods to improve the look and feel of final plastic parts. The idea of combination technology is developed by a cross-technology potential analysis of the known industry processes. The material and process combinations emerged as a result form an important cornerstone for Yizumi’s research activities in the headquarters in China as well as in the R&D Pre-development Centre in Aachen, Germany.



Picture: Engine cover with thermoplastic carrier and second component flooded PU after first trial


One of the first activities was the development of the so called ‘ReactPro’ process: Based on an exclusive agreement with the company Frimo Lotte / Germany we developed the process of overflooding a thermoplastic carrier part by PU coating. To explain the React Pro machine system in a simple manner we can say that our engineers married their DP 2-platen injection moulding standard machine with the PU equipment produced by Frimo. The Yizumi ‘smart and better’ approach is given by this technology by an innovative tool concept we developed together with our network partner GK Concept from Dresden / Germany. Based on the ReactPro process you can produce final plastic parts with high glossy surfaces and also with soft touch surface if requested.

A second example to get a better ‘look and feel’ was developed as ‘DecoPro’ process and presented already at Chinaplas 2018. In this case an aluminium foil was back injected by a thermoplastic carrier. The final part was an engine cover as demonstrator. The tool design integrated the cutting of the Al foil whereby the foil was continuously delivered from a roll.  DecoPro in this case delivered a final part with a look and feel like pure metal!


Plastics Industry 4.0

The trend word ‘Industry 4.0’ is in every mouth! On one hand it is a matter of accessing a high amount of different data, provided by material supplier as well as machines and sensors inside the whole supply chain. On the other hand, the focus is a standardised analysis and utilisation of this data for new business models. Yizumi is prepared to attend to this new world and offers all interfaces which are standardised by Euromap.

One typical example for the use in the Industry 4.0 world is our new development called DCIM (Direct Compounding Injection Moulding): DCIM is a complex machine system, based on the main components Injection Moulding Machine (IMM) and Compound Delivery System (CDS). Viewed from the systematic of a machine design engineer the DCIM depends also to the group of ‘combination technologies’ (see above). The compound delivery system exists out of two subgroups. The compound single screw extruder and the dosing system of the different polymer components and additives. The CDS processes the molten and mixed compound into the feed section of the IMM. Finally you get the parts out of the mould as known from the IMM process.


Picture: DCIM system inside Tech Center Yizumi

The advantages for the end user are divers: On one hand you produce your own compound based on standard polymers and additives which can be purchased cheap in the market. This relates into lower material cost depending on recipe up to 50%. On the other hand you run your production based on own recipes which creates a lead in know-how. Well known is also the situation if an end user needs only a small lot of a special compound. Sometimes the compounding company let you wait a pretty long time up to delivery and that in addition with a high price!

Last but not least I come back to the aspect of Industry 4.0: The whole chain starts with the recipe and ends with the final part. Our partner Exipnos is a material specialist and creates the right recipe for you. The recipe will be sent via the cloud into the control of the DCIM system and can be changed frequently. Also material compounds based on recycle material can be developed by Exipnos and processed with the DCIM machine.  


3D Printing

The 3D Printing or Additive Manufacturing (AM) is a well-known manufacturing method to process plastics or metal without a mould into the final shape.

Yizumi Germany is the home for the start-up business unit ‘SpaceA’, a series of Hybrid 3D Printers to produce polymer parts. The base of SpaceA is a module in accordance to the Melt Deposition Modelling (MDM) process. The process original developed at IKV (Institute for Polymer Processing) in Aachen. The former research engineer which developed the process at IKV is nowadays employed by Yizumi Germany and is the head of the SpaceA business unit.

With the MDM you reach outstanding part building speed based on the use of standard polymer material like everyone knows from injection moulding. Also high filled and fiber reinforced polymers like for example PA with 30% CF can be processed. As a result and compared to other AM processes, the SpaceA gains tremendous advantages in productivity.


Picture: SpaceA, on the left Nicolai Lammert (Head of Additive Manufacturing), right Richard Yan (CEO Yizumi)

Due to this reason, the SpaceA is not only a machine to produce prototypes, it is the first 3D Printer for profitable production.

The hybrid SpaceA is equipped with an articulating robot and if requested can be added inside the cell by subtractive manufacturing processes like grinding or milling and others. Also the functional integration of complex inserts is no problem and allows a high degree of design freedom of the final part. As already mentioned the focus of SpaceA is not only the prototype production of polymer parts, the main focus is profitable production in competition to injection moulding of small and medium lots.


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