Environmentally friendly thermal cleaning of hot runner manifolds

SCHWING Technologies supports sustainability initiative of the automotive supplier industry. Hot runner specialist Meusburger relies on Green Cleaning Technology Made in Germany

According to the VDA (German Association of the Automotive Industry), car manufacturers are increasingly gearing their production processes to the principles of sustainability. Ecological goals are being anchored across all stages of the supply chain. This also includes manufacturers and their service providers. Here, SCHWING Technologies offers extremely environmentally friendly cleaning processes, especially for cleaning the injection molding and extrusion tooling used.

This is of growing importance because steel structures are increasingly being replaced by considerably lighter, but equally strong, plastic components in automotive engineering. Injection molding and extrusion processes are used in the manufacture of such plastic components, whose injection nozzles, needle valves or melt lines (hot runners) are subsequently bonded and blocked by the plastic, which is partly offset by glass fibers. They must be cleaned regularly without leaving any residues.

For this cleaning requirement, SCHWING offers thermal cleaning systems in various sizes and configurations, instead of cleaning solvents or other mechanical processes. Both small nozzles and large hot runners with complicated geometries can be freed from the adhering plastics in an energy-efficient and residue-free manner - this also applies to the internal channels.

"When it comes to environmental regulations, our thermal cleaning technology scores points over all other cleaning options," emphasizes Virgilio Perez Guembe, Sales Manager at SCHWING. Removing plastics with welding torches, flames or compressed air is not only harmful to the environment, but can also irreversibly damage the sensitive and expensive tooling and machine parts.

SCHWING sells its Green Cleaning technology worldwide and maintains a 24/7 cleaning and delivery service at its headquarters site in Neukirchen-Vluyn on the Lower Rhine.

Meusburger Deutschland GmbH: Thermal cleaning of hot runner components in all sizes

The example of hot runner manufacturer Meusburger Deutschland GmbH shows that cleaning technology and service in combination are also in demand. The Viernheim-based company produces for the automotive industry, among others, and is a specialist in the development and design of hot runner products. When cleaning its hot runner systems, the company relies on the environmentally friendly and low-emission technology from SCHWING, because "environmental regulations are becoming increasingly important and strict in the plastics processing industry, too," says Wolfgang Homes, Division Manager of Application Technology and Service Hot Runner at Meusburger. Sustainability and protection of the environment also played an important role in his company, explains Homes: "We give more for this than current laws and regulations demand".

 

Meusburger cleans smaller hot runner components and nozzles at the company headquarters in Viernheim and acquired the INNOVACLEAN fluidized bed system from SCHWING for this purpose more than 15 years ago. Whenever large hot runner systems need to be cleaned, the company has them transported to Neukirchen-Vluyn, about three hours' drive away, where several large pyrolysis systems (MAXICLEAN) are available for the removal of plastics. After four to eight hours, the hot runner systems are clean and ready for return transport within a single operation. Homes: "For us, this combination of our own system and the additional use of the external cleaning service from SCHWING is the most attractive option economically". If fillers and reinforcing materials, additives or color pigments are used, thermal cleaning also guarantees residue-free results. This creates the best conditions for a stable process after the hot runner system has been repaired. "Thanks to the flexibility of our own system in combination with the reliable support of the SCHWING company, we can offer our customers the desired and required service around the hot runner," concludes Homes.

SCHWING Technologies ensures the safe thermal removal of plastic residues from hot runner systems - here before cleaning
Cleaning a hot runner system in a large pyrolysis plant (MAXICLEAN) takes about four to eight hours - here after cleaning
SCHWING also offers plastic removal from hot runner systems as a 24/7 service - here before cleaning
Hot runner systems are cleaned without residue within one working cycle - here after cleaning