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Hutchinson Body Parts gets the largest PDCPD press in Europe


Based on thirty years of experience, the Hutchinson plant located in Ingrandes sur Vienne, France, designs, manufactures and delivers in sequence to the customer's assembly line composite body parts and semi-structural parts, for the transportation, aeronautic and industry markets. Body parts are moulded in material such as Polyurea, Polyurethane, and PDCPD – which allow for big dimensions. The new large horizontal clamping press recently put in by Cannon, with platens of 3,500mm by 3,500mm, will be used for the moulding of parts of over three meter long. Due to the giant size of the press a hybrid drive solution was put in place, with significant advantages in terms of cycle time and energy savings.


Early in 2009 Hutchinson contacted Cannon France to obtain a quotation for a turnkey package of equipment to manufacture commercial vehicle components using the PDCPD (PolyDiCycloPentaDiene) process. The Cannon Group over the years have provided numerous plants to process this material and have a great deal of knowledge regarding the metering of the chemicals and the handling of the moulds. PDCPD is a well established thermoset material used to manufacture large and paintable parts requiring high impact strengths, a collection of attributes required by Hutchinson's customers. Hutchinson is a major supplier within the industry of transport and have a great deal of knowledge in processing components in Polyurethane (RIM) and in PDCPD, with an established track record of quality and consistency. During the early days of the discussions between Hutchinson and Cannon France it was obvious that very large parts had to be manufactured and that the investment being considered would also in some way be used to allow even larger components production. This in turn brought into question the design requirements of the metering unit and the mould carrier. The following elements must be considered when proposing a mould carrier to be used in the production of PDCPD parts : • Cycle time • Operator access • Power consumption


The typical mould carrier would be a vertical clamping type which has a down-stroking platen. However, in the case of Hutchinson, the size of the parts was so huge that a deeper reflection was required. Cannon Solutions (UK) – the Manchester, UK, based Group's manufacturing center that has gained the widest experience in designing, building and installing large mould carriers for PDCPD – responded to the request of Hutchinson to design a horizontal clamping type press because of the special characteristics required: a platen of 3,500 by 3,500mm with a stroke of 3,600mm and a clamping force of 230 Tons.


Since the calculation of power consumption in hydraulics is determined by the pressure required and the flow rate, to match the movement times achieved by the motor gearboxes on the platens would require a large amount of power. More over, to achieve fast opening or closing, considering the maximum tool weight per platen up to 15 tons, a tremendous amount of oil would be required.


For those reasons not only was the decision to go horizontal clamping but also to go “Hybrid”, just like a car: using a mixture of electrical and hydraulic power reduces significantly the total power consumption .


Hutchinson use a horizontal clamping press with a platen of 3,500 by 3,500mm, a stroke of 3,600mm and a clamping force of 230 Tons to process PDCPD (PolyDiCycloPentaDiene) resins.


The platens are opened and closed using electrical servo drive systems which allows for fast stroke speed and stroke optimisation, depending on part's overall depth and mould thickness. The clamping pressure is applied by large diameter independent hydraulic cylinders with a short stroke; each cylinder is electronically controlled to achieve positional accuracy.


The platen and the cylinders can also be moved together, thus reducing the cycle time. The design also offers a time window at which it is ideal to open the mould carrier and quickly allow the operator access to demould the part. The very long stroke allows operators to walk inside the mould carrier to access both platens without being constricted by tools.


The choice of the correct metering unit is also extremely important: the high pressure Cannon “A-Compact” 200 is ideally suited to this process, being specifically designed to meter and mix the PDCPD chemical components in the precise quantities


required. The combined output of the machine is 200kg/min., meaning it is ideal to produce mouldings up to 80 kg matching perfectly the characteristics of the mould carrier.


Safety is paramount in the design of Cannon equipment and the specification of the metering unit with the selection of ATEX certified components means that one can be assured that the plant is fit for purpose. Quick and qualified Technical Service and local availability of spare parts played a major role in Hutchinson's decision to chose Cannon as supplier for this jumbo press and metering unit: Cannon France provides both services since 1978, as hundreds of satisfied customers in France and French-speaking countries of North Africa can witness.


With this new installation Hutchinson offers new facilities to realize huge PDCPD parts for all European customers looking for high quality and productivity rate.


Telene, the French Team for PDCPD


Telene, based near Paris, France, is a 100% owned by Rimtec Corporation, the Japanese manufacturers of PDCPD. From their Drocourt's headquarters they are in charge of R&D and sales for the EMEA (Europe, Middle East & Africa) markets. Their culture of “customer centricity” is evidenced by the key developments and successes that have taken place through very close customer cooperation. A strong team, where everyone is ready to roll up their sleeves and contribute, works tirelessly on application and product development where delivering a competitive performance advantage to their customers is the number one goal. (www.telene.com)


PDCPD (PolyDiCycloPentaDiene) is the most advanced solution for the manufacture of large parts, from low to high volumes, with a very large range of applications. Mixed under pressure, the chemical reaction of components A and B gives the thermoset polymer.


Reaction Injection Moulding (RIM) of the low-viscosity resins is the preferred method of production of PDCPD parts, which feature high rigidity, excellent impact resistance, as well as good surface appearance and corrosion resistance for a wide range of applications.


The PDCPD catalyst system makes it possible to control the starting point of the reaction. This opens up the processing window to the moulder by increasing the time available to fill the mould. This makes it possible to make very large plastic parts (up to 100 Kg and over) in a very short time. PDCPD stands apart from all other liquid resin RIM systems because of the unique patented catalyst system. This catalyst system makes it possible to vary the gel-time (which marks the start of the polymerisation) in accordance with the requirements of the moulder and the part to be moulded. Not only has the moulder full flexibility in production, but new concepts in engineering plastics have been made possible by PDCPD RIM resins.


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