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Braun wins Engel’s HL award for Xpressive

German personal care products maker Braun has picked up first place in Engel’s HL Awards for the innovative use of the Austrian machine maker’s tiebarless (holmlos) machine technology in production of parts for its latest depilation appliance.

Braun won the top place for its use of a three-component HL machine to produce the “layer technology” housing used for its Silk-épil Xpressive depilator. Gerald G"rich, plastics processing manager at Braun’s headquarters in Kronberg, said the three-component Silk-épil parts were designed to create an impression of depth and are moulded on a four-station 90° rotating index platen tool.

In designing the Xpressive housing, Braun used Moldflow Plastics Adviser studies, PTC’s Pro/Engineer simultaneous engineering and Sigma 3D flow simulation software. The Sigma flow simulation was used to predict filling, cooling and reheating behaviour during the overmoulding process to ensure no bleeding of one material into another occurred at the component interfaces.

The Engel jury said Braun had worked hard to ensure the production machinery remained within floor load limits at the plant and had made good use of the unrestricted mould space to ensure that mouldings were kept “within the field of vision for fast process tuning.”

Other winners at the Braun awards included Germany-based Oechsler, which received the second prize for its use of a 180 tonne HL machine in production of automotive and electrical parts. Third place went to Bosch supplier Mekutec, which is using HL machines to produce airflow sensor connectors.

Runners-up included two German processors - EKT Eifler Kunststofftechnik, which moulds two-component vacuum cleaner handles for appliance producer Miele, and Leicht + Müller, which overmoulds its own punched metal strips – as well as US company Kramski North America, which is insert and outsert moulding hybrid plastic/metal components.

Engel initiated the HL Awards to recognise plastics companies that exploited to the full the performance benefits of its tiebarless machine technology, which has now been in the market for 20 years. This latest round of winners received their awards before an audience of around 2,000 people at a ceremony in the Design Centre in Linz as part of Engel’s 2009 technology symposium at the end of May.