Stirring, mixing, chopping, shredding and even cooking, the new Thermomix TM5 by Vorwerk is the multifunctional food processor par excellence. And a real sales hit. The Vorwerk Semco S.A. plant in Cloyes-sur-le-Lori, France, produces one million units of this smart kitchen helper, and the plant in Wuppertal, Germany, produces another 500,000.
The new Thermomix TM5Features a premiumquality design and increased functionality
A total of 24 KraussMaffei injection molding machines operate in the Vorwerk plant in France and produce a wide variety of components, ranging from the lid to the handle. However, the four MX series machines delivered in late 2013 and May 2014 will take over the lion’s share for the new Thermomix. Two pairs of twins, each with a clamping force of 11,500 kN, use the three-component process to manufacture the lid for the new food processor. The requirements are high. The lid needs to satisfy high visual requirements in addition to providing resistance to scratches and every kind of corrosive food and spice. The use of three types of plastic make this teamwork a success: PC from Covestro for the white area and a PC/ABS blend for the light gray, recessed part. A PMMA coating from Evonik provides for the necessary visual properties, scratch resistance and chemical resistance.
"Production using the new injection molding machines was a technological leap forward for us."
And production moves right along. The MX machines produce the lids in the threecomponent injection molding process with a 59-second cycle. Three injection units provide the mold with the three different plastic melts. Secondary injection unit 1 is in a piggyback arrangement (Z) and secondary injection unit 2 is arranged in a vertical position (V). This injection unit combination provides clear cost advantages for multi-component injection molding. The screw for the PMMA components receives a special coating due to the stringent requirements for an absolutely flawless appearance for the plastic. The three-cavity mold, with a hot runner system from Incoe, comes from the mold-making company Hofmann GmbH from Lichtenfels, Germany, and rotates 120 degrees after each shot in a precisely timed cycle. All of this takes place on an integrated servo-electrically driven rotary table from KraussMaffei. “This table works quickly and precisely with outstanding energy efficiency. Even large molds with a maximum weight of approximately 16 tonnes can be handled just as safely and easily,” explains Andreas Handschke, Product and Technology Manager at KraussMaffei.
Post-mold processing in a twin pack
And manufacturing continues. Two injection molding machines share one post-mold processing system positioned between them. This saves space and optimizes post-mold processing, especially the sprue cutting of the PMMA components. Since the cutting edge is also an exposed edge, ensuring precise cut guidance is absolutely essential. Not even dust can be created during this process, as this may contaminate the transparent PMMA coating. “We sell an innovative product and provide our customers with excellent quality as well as premium design,” explains Thomas Rüschenschmidt, Director of Engineering at Vorwerk Semco. Then the covers, which are still warm, are carried onward by conveyor to quality assurance and hot embossing with the Vorwerk logo so that they can then be transported to final assembly and assembled for global shipping.
The investment pays off
Thanks to the further development of Thermomix, Vorwerk has achieved a true top-seller. “Production using the new injection molding machines was a technological leap forward for us. KraussMaffei has excellent service and technology. Everything is running smoothly and the machines have an availability level of over 90 percent,” summarizes a satisfied Rüschenschmidt.