Europe is one of the fastest developing regions in the plastic injection moulding industry, being the second largest producer of plastic materials. Grand View Research estimates that the total revenue of the European plastics injection moulding market will total USD$122billion by 2025. 2 Strong growth opportunities for plastic injection moulding are being created in the region by a range of key industries. For instance, consumer electronics is seeing an increased demand for personal devices, such as laptops and mobile phones. Additionally, with the automotive industry increasingly replacing metal components with plastic
Total revenue of the European plastics injection moulding market will reach:
$122 billionby 2025
One of the most valuable assets to a plastics business is an injection moulding machine. With productivity being a key challenge, most of these machines will run in a 24/7 operation producing repeatable, high quality parts en-masse in the fastest possible cycle speed. Any unplanned downtime caused by equipment breakdown will impact directly on the manufacturer’s bottom line. With research revealing that poor maintenance can reduce a factory’s productivity by 5% – 20%. High quality lubrication is an essential aspect of effective equipment maintenance yet, manufacturers are often more likely to blame equipment breakdowns on mechanical failures rather than lubrication. However, multiple surveys carried out by hydraulic equipment manufacturers and other industry bodies have shown that 50% to 70% of equipment failures are related to ‘improper hydraulic fluid condition’. Lubricants, particularly hydraulic fluid, play a vital role in helping to extend the life of injection moulding equipment. With the hydraulic system at the heart of these machines, hydraulic fluid not only transits power mechanically throughout the system, it also offers protection to moving parts.
There are many key priorities for manufacturing businesses operating injection moulding machines. Ultimately, they want their equipment to last as long as possible, as productively as possible, with no unexpected breakdowns due to failure. A high-performance hydraulic fluid can help extend equipment life resulting in decreased downtime and increased overall productivity.The quality of this fluid is important, as equipment design, operational parameters and surrounding environment can all pose different challenges for lubrication. Three key challenges businesses often face with their plastic injection moulding machines include varnish and sludge, water in the hydraulic fluid and aeration.
Fastest possible cycle speed
No significant downtime
Consistent process cycle
Very tight tolerances
Extended oil drain intervals
Long machine life span
Reduced noise levels
Oil degradation by-products as a result of oxidation and thermal degradation have
limited solubility in the oil.
They are decomposed hydrocarbon molecules
and components from depleted additive systems.
Plugged lines, blocked filters, sticking valves, O-ring and seal failures are common issues observed as a consequence.
Water in lubrication systems can lead to issues such as corrosion
of components, degradation in lubricant performance and deterioration of lubricating film properties. It also causes the
formation of rust.
Rust particles can lead to subsequent mechanical problems.
Undissolved air circulating in the hydraulic system can cause an increase in compressibility, especially at low pressures, pressure drop and increase tendency for turbulent flow, cavitation at the suction side of hydraulic pumps, thermal degradation and oxidation. Excessive aeration leads to high noise levels, unreliable operation, and damage at pumps and other components.
HOW HIGH-PERFORMANCE LUBRICATION CAN HELP
Shell Lubricants has spent the past 70 years improving and enhancing the formulation of its Shell Tellus range, which has been developed to meet specific the challenges hydraulic equipment and applications.
Lubricants can degrade on
contact with oxygen. The
impact of oxidation on hydraulic fluid includes the formation of acidic contaminants, sludge and varnish as
well as an increase
in viscosity (oil thickening). Featuring excellent oxidation resistance, Shell Tellus oils enable long fluid life, and restrict oil thickening and the formation of acids. This helps to extend oil drain intervals and reduce maintenance requirements while increasing equipment life and productivity.
THERMAL & HYDROLYTIC STABILITY
Lubricants need to resist deterioration due to heat as
well as chemical decomposition (hydrolysis) in the presence of water, which helps minimise the formation of acids.
Featuring excellent thermal and hydrolytic stability, Shell Tellus oils offer better wear protection to increase the
service life of equipment and consequently help reduce total cost of ownership.
FILTERABILITY & AIR RELEASE
Filterability is the ease with
which a lubricant passes through a filter membrane without clogging or plugging. Air is also a contaminant and finely divided air bubbles can form in hydraulic fluid leading to a mixture of air and oil circulating through the hydraulic system which may affect valve, hydraulic motor and actuator operation.
Featuring superior filterability and air release properties, Shell Tellus oils ensure
clean oil, low pressure
loss and efficient operation.
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