Sumitomo (SHI) Demag has won the coveted title of Best Technology Application of the Year at the 2015 Plastic Industry Awards. Judges noted that the success of activeFlowBalance “successfully improved product quality and product efficiency” and was a good example of the application of technology.”

Actor and comedian Alan Davies presented national sales manager Darren Herron with the trophy, which acknowledges the company’s technological prowess in the expanding mass-production precision moulding market.

The optional activeFlowBalance (aFB) feature uses machine-control technology on Sumitomo (SHI) Demag’s all-electric injection moulding range to balance filling ratios between mould cavities and avoid short shots, consequently reducing product rejects and scrap parts by up to 40%.

“We are very honoured to receive this award and to be acknowledged by our UK and global counterparts as leaders in technical innovation,” comments managing director Nigel Flowers. “As always, solving production challenges, enhancing part quality and optimising machinery OEE in the plastics sector is very much a team effort and we proudly share this PIA accolade with our R&D engineering colleagues in Germany.

“Of the 15 categories in this year’s PIAs, ‘best technology’ was the gong we had our sights on as it is so fundamental to innovation,” continues Nigel. “With manufacturing competition intensifying globally, moulders are seeking out advanced technical tools to drive greater precision at higher speeds, and that’s exactly what aFB delivers.”  The technology counters complications such as flash formation, mould damage and under-filling for applications that up until now have required complex manual adjustments to injection moulding machines.

Since launching aFB three years ago, it has been deployed by a number of big European names operating in the precision moulding sector. Philips AVENT, Nifco UK, Patterson & Rothwell and elm-plastic GmbH are some of the early advocates. “The aFB feature is quite unique in that it uses the compression of the melt inside the barrel to stabilise the pressure, resulting in in partially-filled cavities being filled by the expanding melt. This means equal pressure is applied to each cavity, which stops the plastic from sticking to the mould,” explains Dave Bowden, sales and marketing manager at Oldham-based Patterson & Rothwell.

Hosted at the London Hilton on Park Lane on Friday 9th October, the star-studded awards evening was attended by over 700 people, all celebrating the very best that the innovative UK plastics industry has to offer.