Fenton, Mich. — Soph Inc., part of a German company that also has an operation in China, has started U.S. manufacturing of the company's Magbo magnetic mold clamping system for making quick mold changes.

Soph began running a machining center at its facility in Fenton in mid-August, President Paul Van Every said. The machining center has a surface area of 62-by-80 inches. It machines the magnet frame.

The so-called electropermanent magnets are bolted to the platens on an injection molding press. After a short pulse of electrical power, the system is magnetized and will hold the mold fast. The magnetic mold clamp does not rely on power to remain magnetized. That means a power outage does not change the magnetic force.

Hamburg, Germany-based Soph GmbH has been selling Magbo mold clamping systems in the United States, first through offices in Brighton, Mich. Van Every, a 21-year veteran of the magnetic mold clamping industry, said Soph Inc. moved into its current 18,000-square-foot building in Fenton at the end of 2016.

The company already has been doing some assembly of smaller magnets, but the new machining capability is a major move forward, Van Every said in an interview at the seven-employee Fenton plant.

"What we're going to build as inventory here in the states will be 100-1,500-ton plates and we'll keep them on the shelf," Van Every said. The tonnages refer to the magnet system needed to clamp molds on presses of those clamping forces.

The Fenton operation is able to make magnet systems for up to a 4,000-ton injection molding machine — the maximum size of its patent — by producing sections that are 10 square feet and then putting them together in a big mold clamp.

Having a stocked U.S. inventory of magnetic clamps for injection molding gives Soph an advantage over competing magnet suppliers, Van Every said.

U.S. manufacturing will allow Soph to dramatically cut lead times. Van Every said normal lead time is 14-16 weeks to build and ship a system from Europe or Asia to a U.S. customer. Now, build time for a 500-ton magnet will take four to six weeks. A 1,500-ton magnetic plate should take six to eight weeks, Van Every said.

Of course, since the machining center will run all the time, the Fenton operation will build inventory — ready for immediate shipment.

The magnetic platens come in as a raw plate of steel. The machining center smooths and flattens the steel, then cuts channels in the surface where the magnet materials and the coil are placed. Wires run underneath to the junction box. Then they add sensors.

Balancing the magnets is an important task. Van Every said every line of magnetic force, called flux, has to be correct so you can remove the magnet plate from the mold for a mold change — done by energizing the system for a second, to draw the flux back inside of the magnetic platen, while the mold is being physically supported.

Soph also offers a side load roller system that provides rollers outside the tie bars, allowing the molds to reach the mold cart over the tie bars, with no press modifications.

After employees in Fenton do machining and assembly of the magnetic mold clamp, the part is finished by the grinding process. Van Every said Soph plans to add a grinding machine in December. Until then, the company can easily outsource the grinding operation to outside companies in Michigan, he said.

Finally, Soph adds the controller, which is assembled in Fenton from components supplied by the parent company.

Magnetic mold clamping has been around for many years, mainly finding acceptance in the United States in the automotive injection molding industry. But other industries have installed magnets, including medical, consumer products and the mobile home sector, Van Every said.

But plenty of people at molders still don't know much about them, so Van Every is accustomed to giving a Magnetics 101 course on sales calls. One point he makes: The metalcutting industry has used electropermanent magnets for decades to hold work in place for machining. Steel mills and steel distributors equip cranes with magnets to lift and move huge metal parts.

Even so, he said only a tiny fraction of new injection molding machines come with magnetic mold clamping.

"Of all the machines sold, they're probably equipping 1 or 2 percent that are coming with magnets," he said. Soph has installed magnets on presses from major European, U.S. and Asian injection press manufacturers, he said.

The refit market is much larger, and most of the unit volume still comes from automotive, Van Every said. "It's the most dollars for sure," he said.

Fenton, Mich. — Soph Inc., part of a German company that also has an operation in China, has started U.S. manufacturing of the company's Magbo magnetic mold clamping system for making quick mold changes.

Soph began running a machining center at its facility in Fenton in mid-August, President Paul Van Every said. The machining center has a surface area of 62 by 80 inches. It machines the magnet frame.

The so-called electropermanent magnets are bolted to the platens on an injection molding press. After a short pulse of electrical power, the system is magnetized and will hold the mold fast. The magnetic mold clamp does not rely on power to remain magnetized. That means a power outage does not change the magnetic force.

Hamburg, Germany-based Soph GmbH has been selling Magbo mold clamping systems in the United States, first through offices in Brighton, Mich. Van Every, a 21-year veteran of the magnetic mold clamping industry, said Soph Inc. moved into its current 18,000-square-foot building in Fenton at the end of 2016.

The company already has been doing some assembly of smaller magnets, but the new machining capability is a major move forward, Van Every said in an interview at the seven-employee Fenton plant.

"What we're going to build as inventory here in the states will be 100-1,500-ton plates and we'll keep them on the shelf," Van Every said. The tonnages refer to the magnet system needed to clamp molds on presses of those clamping forces.

The Fenton operation is able to make magnet systems for up to a 4,000-ton injection molding machine — the maximum size of its patent — by producing sections that are 10 square feet and then putting them together in a big mold clamp.

Having a stocked U.S. inventory of magnetic clamps for injection molding gives Soph an advantage over competing magnet suppliers, Van Every said.

U.S. manufacturing will allow Soph to dramatically cut lead times. Van Every said normal lead time is 14-16 weeks to build and ship a system from Europe or Asia to a U.S. customer. Now, build time for a 500-ton magnet will take four to six weeks. A 1,500-ton magnetic plate should take six to eight weeks, Van Every said.

Of course, since the machining center will run all the time, the Fenton operation will build inventory — ready for immediate shipment.

The magnetic platens come in as a raw plate of steel. The machining center smooths and flattens the steel, then cuts channels in the surface where the magnet materials and the coil are placed. Wires run underneath to the junction box. Then they add sensors.

Balancing the magnets is an important task. Van Every said every line of magnetic force, called flux, has to be correct so you can remove the magnet plate from the mold for a mold change — done by energizing the system for a second, to draw the flux back inside of the magnetic platen, while the mold is being physically supported.

Soph also offers a side load roller system that provides rollers outside the tie bars, allowing the molds to reach the mold cart over the tie bars, with no press modifications.

After employees in Fenton do machining and assembly of the magnetic mold clamp, the part is finished by the grinding process. Van Every said Soph plans to add a grinding machine in December. Until then, the company can easily outsource the grinding operation to outside companies in Michigan, he said.

Finally, Soph adds the controller, which is assembled in Fenton from components supplied by the parent company.

Magnetic mold clamping has been around for many years, mainly finding acceptance in the United States in the automotive injection molding industry. But other industries have installed magnets, including medical, consumer products and the mobile home sector, Van Every said.

But plenty of people at molders still don't know much about them, so Van Every is accustomed to giving a Magnetics 101 course on sales calls. One point he makes: The metal cutting industry has used electropermanent magnets for decades to hold work in place for machining. Steel mills and steel distributors equip cranes with magnets to lift and move huge metal parts.

Even so, he said only a tiny fraction of new injection molding machines come with magnetic mold clamping.

"Of all the machines sold, they're probably equipping 1 or 2 percent that are coming with magnets," he said. Soph has installed magnets on presses from major European, U.S. and Asian injection press manufacturers, he said.

The refit market is much larger, and most of the unit volume still comes from automotive, Van Every said. "It's the most dollars for sure," he said.

Do you have an opinion about this story? Do you have some thoughts you'd like to share with our readers? Plastics News would love to hear from you. Email your letter to Editor at [email protected]

The only North American conference targeting plastics caps and closures makers, the Plastics Caps & Closures conference, held Sept. 9-11, 2019, in Chicago, provides a hotbed of discussion on many of the top innovations, process and product technologies, materials, trends and consumer insights that influence both packaging and caps and closures development.

Accessories For Injection Molding Machine

Plastics News covers the business of the global plastics industry. We report news, gather data and deliver timely information that provides our readers with a competitive advantage.

Injection Molding Machine, Plastic Injection Machine, Plastic Mould - Vega Electronic,https://www.nbvega-tech.com/