Containers for today's logistics have to be stackable, feature IML barcodes, integrated RFIDs and, of course, the logo of the company that owns them. Switzerland's Georg Utz has specialized in this application, and for this reason it has commissioned the country's largest injection molding machine, a KraussMaffei MX 4000-75000. At eight locations on three continents, Utz produces high-quality products for in-house and external logistics.
The new model features a sophisticated two-story automation system that implements the subsequent process steps such as the application of RFIDs, IML barcodes and logos plus post-processing and quality assurance within the cycle time. The two KraussMaffei LRX robots right at the machine have twelve-meter-long Z-axes and thus a particularly large working radius.
Utz will take advantage of the ability provided by the MX 4000 to use stack and multi-cavity molds and thus increase production volume. The globally active family-owned company runs three shifts at its plant on the new MX 4000, producing approximately 20 different products with weights of up to 50 kilograms, including pallets, boxes and Paloxes. The material is usually a polyolefin such as PP or HDPE, but ABS or technical plastics are also sometimes used.
The percentage of recycled material is currently 35% and Utz operates its own recycling sites for this purpose, but plans call for the percentage of recycled material to increase to 80%. This is where one function of KraussMaffei machines plays a special role: APCplus. Based on the melt viscosity, it controls the changeover point and the holding pressure level and thus ensures parts with extremely consistent weight. This balances out batch fluctuations that result from different raw materials and percentages of recycled material. This opens up a wider gateway for material purchasing. In the case of regrind, for example, it is also possible to buy different quality grades or polyolefin blends that are more readily available. Moreover, the DataXplorer system of the machine can save up to 500 signals per second from the machine and other sensors and display them as curves.
As a global player, Utz has over 1,350 employees and state-of-the-art production locations in Germany, England, France, Poland, China, the USA and Mexico. The company is headquartered in Switzerland. The group operates a total of 50 injection molding machines from KraussMaffei, 22 of which are running in Switzerland at clamping forces starting at 800 kN. With an export share of around 40%, Utz delivers its products primarily to Italy, Austria, Eastern Europe, the Scandinavian countries and Oceania.