Apr 28, 2023

Arburg brings 100th anniversary celebrations to the UK

Sustainability was the single most important component and common theme that ran through speeches and presentations throughout the day. In his opening remarks for the day, Managing Director Colin Tirel emphasised the fact that the Hehl family had always valued sustainability and was keen to showcase the AllRounder 470H as the company's next step in sustainability. With features such as shorter drying cycle times, an energy efficient servo hydraulic system and a patented oil recycling system, the company is incredibly enthusiastic about its new technology.

This theme of sustainability continued with the first guest speaker of the day, Reiner Heendeniya of Gunther UK, a company that has been working alongside Arburg to create hot runner solutions for injection moulding machines. The company's BlueFlow technology claims to save up to 50% energy consumption by reducing heating times, while containing a titanium shaft in the tool to act as a seal, reducing heat and energy loss. Heendeniya said: "Since 2010 Gunther has had the most energy-efficient hot runner nozzle on the market by using thin film technology, called BlueFlow, that took 10 years to develop. In the UK it accounts for about 70% of our sales, and we’re looking to use about 50% less energy than our competitors. Aligned to the film we use a bi-metallic titanium shaft which is a Gunther patent, that keeps heat in the nozzle so we do not lose too much in the mould tool."

Next up to the stage was Dr. Robin Kent, an expert on sustainability in the plastics industry. It is fair to say that Kent's talk left an impression, balancing audience engagement in the form of a quiz with a sharp presentation to illustrate that sustainability isn't necessarily what we think it is. Instead, according to Kent it is a symbiosis of factors including social, economic and environmental sustainability. It is fair to say Kent's energetic style is thought provoking, When speaking about the presentation, Kent said: "We have produced a textbook with the BPF on the sustainability of plastics processing. My talk was about making companies aware that environmental sustainability is not the only type, it includes economic and societal sustainability. The data shows that for most people in the world life is improving, with higher health metrics, vaccination rates, more women are being educated, life expectancy is higher – there is a positive sustainability picture."

Customers of Arburg seemed in good spirits going into the event which was matched by a positive rection to the event and its sustainability and efficiency based nature. Justin Davies, managing director of Tex Plastics, said: "What stood for me at the event was the recognition and importance of energy efficiency, and the need to analyse the processes and grasp hold of this. Tex Plastics has a lot of energy measuring equipment, and we are now planning our production around machines’ energy consumption, so what I have seen today is very encouraging."

It is also clear that Arburg has managed to retain a loyal customer base throughout its time in the UK, a customer base that enjoys the familiarity of Arburg's machines. Shaun Brady, managing director of Plastic Moulding Direct, said: "A 100 year history seems a very long time – then I realised I bought my first Arburg machine from Colin 25 years ago! The new 470 H machine has the new GESTICA control system fitted. I was relieved to see that the interface here is very familiar to the previous one and means I don't need to learn a whole new interface as you want to programme the machines quickly."

Other customers who have become accustomed to such events were pleased with the general quality and the informative nature of the presentations. Chris Young of R A Labone, said: "My first impression is there are a lot of people here, more than I’ve seen at similar events, so good for Arburg. The presentations have been interesting. I am here because we are a very long-term customer, we’ve been around even longer than Arburg Ltd. has, and were using their machines when it was run by Hahn + Kolb.

"Energy efficiency is at the top of our list currently, and we’re looking at our machine purchases; what is the best machine for this? There were some very interesting points in Lukas’ (an engineer who is a product of Arburg's apprenticeship scheme) talk, such as settings and speeds, where we could save several per cent that could equate to big cost savings, which we had not thought about."