There are several types of rotomoulding machines, each with a unique design and capabilities:
- Carousel machines have a rotating carousel that holds multiple moulds.
- Clamshell machines have two halves of the mould that open and close.
- Shuttle machines have a shuttle that moves the mould back and forth between heating and cooling stations.
- Rock and roll machines have a mould that is rotated around a vertical axis.
- All-in-one machines have the heating and cooling elements built into the mould.
Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages. The choice of machine will depend on the specific requirements of the application.
Carousel rotational moulding machines
Carousel rotational moulding machines utilize a carousel-like mechanism to rotate multiple moulds at once. Several moulds are mounted on three or four arms that are connected to a central hub, which moves the arms through different stages of the manufacturing process, including loading, heating, cooling, and unloading. As there are three or four arms, each of these stations is used at any time: carousel machines allow for all arms to be processed simultaneously.
The machine design also allows for processing of multiple moulds on the same arm, making it efficient for producing large quantities. Additionally, the carousel design provides easy access to all sides of the mould during loading and unloading, making it suitable for producing parts with complex geometries or multiple cavities. The biaxial rotation of the arms ensures even distribution of the plastic material and forms it into the desired shape.
Clamshell, shuttle and rock and roll machines
Clamshell machines have a single chamber that serves both as the moulding and cooling station. Cooling, loading and unloading happens in front of this oven. Shuttle machines are typically equipped with two arms that can rotate independently around two axes. These shuttles are moving the mould to the central heating chamber or oven, which is in the middle between both shuttles. Cooling, loading and unloading the finished product is done in one place on either side of the oven.
Rock and roll rotomoulding machines are designed to produce long, slim parts such as slides and kayaks. The moulds are placed in a cradle which swings back and forth at an angle of 45 degrees, while simultaneously rotating 360 degrees inside the cradle. Both the heating and cooling are happening on the same location in the machine.
Linear or vertical rotomoulding machines are a special type of machine that function similarly to a rock and roll machine, where the moulds are placed inside a cradle that rotates. This type of machine has multiple cradles, like a shuttle machine. One cradle at the time is inside the oven, while simultaneously the other cradles can cool down, be unloaded, and loaded again.
All-in-one rotomoulding production cells performs the rotomoulding process in one location. Instead of using a separate oven, the moulds are heated directly by electrical elements built into the mould, allowing for quick heating. The moulds are rotated in two directions, either on a rotating table or on a robot arm. There is no cooling chamber as cooling is done using fans directed at the mould. This design allows for automation of both the loading and unloading of the parts.
Advanced control systems and automation technologies are used in rotomoulding machines to improve the efficiency and precision of the process. These include computer-controlled systems for material handling and automated filling of moulds.
Sensors in or on the mould and other monitoring devices provide real-time data for control of temperatures and mould rotation. Machine learning algorithms can optimize the process based on the data collected.
The most suitable rotomoulding machine
For your application, the most suitable rotomoulding machine has to be selected. Because of our expertise in rotomoulding technology we understand the different types of machines. We will work with you to understand your specific requirements, such as the size and shape of the parts, the required material, required tolerances and the production volume. Based on this information, we will recommend the right equipment to meet your needs.