M3 Micro Injection Molding Machines
 
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M3


Micro Molding without Compromise
The revolutionary M3 series redefines injection molding for small, direct gated plastic parts by outperforming competing technologies by a wide margin. This new generation of electro-pneumatic molding cells delivers fully automated, high volume molding to all industries that demand extreme precision, quality and speed. M3 series machines also offer a high degree of flexibility for low volume and prototype molding without the limitations of larger, traditional injection molds found in conventional presses.



The all new M3-D08 injection molding machine can direct valve gate eight small plastic parts per cycle with a shot weight of 1 to 400 mg. One machine can produce over 100,000 runnerless parts per day.




Discover the Possibilities
As the miniaturization of devices creates exciting new possibilities for a healthier, more connected world, manufacturers require innovative and more reliable ways to produce small and micro-sized plastic components. Conventional approaches to molding these parts do not measure up. They can be costly, inefficient and unable to deliver the precision and speed to meet industry demand. The M3 series offers a better solution. The highly specialized production cells are built from the ground up to make micro injection molding easier, better and more accessible.



3.6 mm micro-electronic circuit board component molded with challenging material PA4.6




Goodbye Cold Runners

M3 series injection molding machines offer all the advantages of direct valve gate hot runner technology. Eliminating cold runners improves part quality, speeds up cycle times and reduces waste in the form of scrap material. This results in substantial savings especially when molding highly valuable plastics such as PEEK or bioabsorbables. With conventional cold runner micro molding, it is common for the weight of the runner to be multiple times greater than the weight of the part produced. The M3 can direct gate parts as small as 0.001 g with a fine Ø 0.5 mm gate. It can also mold parts with sub-runners when needed (e.g. for parts under 1mg, for ease of parts handling, or to multiply the total number of cavities).



Composite engineering resin (30% glass) fiber 40 mg micro part. M3 direct valve gating eliminates traditional cold runners/sprues like this. The cold runner to parts ratio in this application is 10:1.

 

 

A Revolutionary New Injection Process
Conventional injection molding machines cannot mold extremely small, direct gated parts efficiently or effectively because they do not address the biggest challenge in micro molding - they cannot adequately protect the plastic from degrading. Since micro parts consume only minute amounts of material, melt flows at a very slow rate towards the cavity. Too much dwell time in the channels damages the material. Molding cold runners to move more material is not the solution. The M3 series is built around a completely new rheological process called ISOKOR™ injection. By heating the polymer to injection temperature much closer to the gate, the patented technology significantly reduces the time melt is exposed to high processing temperatures and to shear heat, minimizing melt residence time and maintaining the integrity of the resin. This eliminates both the problem of material degradation in the runners and the dependance on inefficient cold runners.


Rheo-Pro® Valve Gate Technology
At the heart of every M3 is a highly specialized
Rheo-Pro® valve gate hot runner system, delivering accurate temperature and gate control. All processing conditions are optimized to protect the integrity of the melt and the consistent quality of each individual plastic part. The patented hot runner is developed specially for micro injection molding and delivers superior gate and surface quality, fast cycle times, extreme reliability and efficiency.

 


Inside the hot runner manifold, each injection unit feeds four
cavities (groups A and B) via a high precision 0.5 - 1.0 mm
(0.020” - 0.040”) valve gate with cylindrical shut-off.




Make Different Parts in One Cycle
The M3 series is incredibley versatile. The new M3-D08 can inject two different part designs with different part weights simultaneously in one cycle. The cavities can also be arranged to run two-shot, multi-material, insert and overmolding processes. It is possible to further increase the number of cavities by deliberately gating onto small sub-runners, for example from 8 to 32 cavities, where each nozzle produces four parts.






Cavity detail (magnification). Each M3 'micro mold' has 8 cavities and can accomodate two seperate part designs with different shot weights as well as slides for side action and moving components for complex geometries. The cavities can also be arranged to run two-shot, multi-material, as well as insert-molding and over-molding processes.



Download
M3 Standard Cavity Insert
3D Parasolid CAD model (.x_t format)
0.3 MB .zip file

 

 

Learn more

 
 

Hot Runners for Micro Molding
Medical and Healthcare
Electronics
Rheo-Pro® N04 Hot Runners
Rheo-Pro® Multi-tip Hot Runners
Valve Gating



 

Advantages

  Direct gated plastic parts without wasted cold runner material or secondary processes  
  Higher quality micro parts with perfect fill, cavity replication, and no shrinkage  
  Lightning fast cycle times and dramatically reduced cooling times compared to other micro molders  
  Extremely high production outputs of up to 60 million direct gated plastic parts per year (8 cavity models)  
  Quick, cost effective prototype molding and low volume molding  
  Ability to produce multiple part designs with each shot, each with different part weights (2 or more)  
  Patented ISOKOR™ injection technology reduces melt residence time and protects material properties  
  Small footprint, easy to move with leveling castors  
  Integrated automation featuring touchless parts handling and take-out options  
  Powerful, user-friendly machine controls with large touch screen interface and secure cloud access  
  Clean room options available  
  Energy savings  
       





Fast Cycles, Extremely High Output
You need speed to compete in a fast moving industry. You need agility at every step of your product cycle. How fast can you build your mold? How fast can your machine run? How quickly can you scale from prototype molding to volume production? Can you deliver good parts and how soon? How much uptime are you getting out of your equipment? Any way you measure it, new M3 molding machines are fast. One M3-D08 can produce eight direct gated micro parts in each cycle, without a cold runner. Cycle times generally range from 4 to 6 seconds depending on the application, resulting in an annual production rate of up to 60 million runnerless plastic parts in a single production cell.



Small, Low-Cost Cavity Inserts
M3 series machines operate using extremely compact and cost effective modular inserts, each containing eight small cavities, completely doing away with the larger, more costly plate structure of traditional injection molds. M3 cavity inserts simplify the mold design, dramatically reduce the time and cost of building molds, and speed up the transition from prototype molding to full scale production - all processing parameters remain identical, no additional validation is required for regulatory approval.



Standard M3 cavity inserts feature eight micro-cavities in a row. Melt is supplied by a valve gate hot runner that is integrated into the machine. The modular inserts replace larger, traditional injection molds and offer fast and cost-effective prototype molding with a seamless transition to mass production.




All-in-One Production Cell
M3 series micro-molding machines include many standard features not found in other products and offers a wide selection of options for project-specific customization. Included in the base package is the fully enclosed molding cell, complete hot runner system, process and temperature control, and linear motion systems. Additional options include material dryer, touchless take-out robot, clean room accessories, tempering devices, custom parts handling and vision systems.

 

 

The M3-D08 offers fully integrated, onboard automation. The touchless robotic take-out and parts handling system uses vacuum to remove and dispense each plastic part individually for seamless downstream processing, as required by the specific application. Integrated vision inspection systems are available for a variety of quality control solutions. One option monitors each cavity before and after injection, twice per cycle, to verify correct part features.

 

 

Innovative Tie-bar-less Clamping Unit
In addition to unparalleled performance and part quality, M3 molding cells are built with a focus on reliable automation, operator safety and user-friendliness. The unique tie-bar-less design provides a large amount of daylight and unobstructed access from all four sides of the mold for work inside the molding area and for auxiliary equipment like robots and reel-to-reel systems. The small, modular M3 cavity inserts can be installed in minutes and handled by a single operator without lifting equipment. The M3 operates with an extremely efficient clamping force of 40 kN, generated by industrial electro-magnets. An electric linear motor opens and closes the insert carrier at speeds of up to 6000 mm/s and provides highly responsive mold safety with micron resolution, torque feedback and position transducers.

The M3 offers a generous amount of daylight between the platens and unobstructed access from all four sides for operators and automation equipment. The maximum distance between the mold parting surfaces is 455 mm (17.9”).




Clean Room Injection Molding
M3 series machines can be equipped with an optional clean room package. This converts the M3 into a fully enclosed clean room production cell. With the top-mounted air filter in place, the self-enclosed clean room molding cells have an extremely small footprint. The machine can easily be moved within the production environment by hand using the robust leveling castors. Each molding cell offers ample room for peripheral equipment and additional automation from all four sides of the mold parting line. The all electric injection unit is controlled by a user friendly, arm-mounted touch screen display on the operator side of the M3.


 

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