IMG is a worldwide leader in the field of elastomer injection moulding machines. It was founded in 2006 and it is based in Capriano del Colle, in the province of Brescia, North of Italy, city cradle of the Italian manufacturing industry. Its main market is the “Rubber Valley”, a wide area near lake Iseo, between the province of Brescia and the province of Bergamo, the two cities which has proudly won the title of “Capital of culture 2023”. Aim of the company is to extend its business boundaries, especially in Germany and in the central European Countries as first step.

60 people work in IMG, with its plant of 9000m2. It’s a young and dynamic team with research, innovation and sustainability as growth drivers. Its production covers injection moulding machines with reciprocating screw or screw + piston systems, multi-injection systems for thermoplastics and loading and injection systems for BMC, for liquid and/or paste silicone. The experience of the company makes it possible to produce tailor-made machines and, in addition, IMG provides its customers with consulting and maintenance service (also via remote tele-assistance) through highly qualified technicians, and punctual spare parts management.

At the recent K-Fair in Düsseldorf the company presented an important novelty in the world of injection moulding machines for rubber: it’s the REM 300, the first full-electric moulding machine for rubber, a highly innovative product, both in terms of performance and sustainability, with a result of reduction in consumptions. Nowadays, the issue of the costs is one of the top priorities of the Italian and European companies. 

The main feature of this brand-new machine, that of being the world’s first full-electric moulding machine for rubber, is counter-intuitive in the case of operating costs, by bringing only one benefit. In times of rising electricity prices, the press might seem to need more energy input, but the reality is exactly the opposite. We can state through rigorous technical tests that consumptions are 30% lower than in a conventional hydraulic moulding machine.

This full-electric machine by IMG is an absolute novelty in the rubber moulding sector, with a clamping force of 3000 kN and numerous improvements. In fact, since the 50s, quite alle the machines have been produces with hydraulic injection systems. The R&D department of IMG has launched an important challenge, by developing a totally different machine: greener, more efficient and with lower operating costs. The project required investments in the best available technologies, in order to prepare a machine capable of reducing the environmental impact of the industrial elastomer moulding activities. The REM 300 works without hydraulic oil, a substance that needs to be changed around every 5000 hours. It turns out in a significant cost reduction in terms of supply and disposal; indeed, with the REM 300 there is no more special waste to dispose, which helps to preserve the environment in a green economy perspective.

A step forward also in terms of performance: the electronics of this innovative moulding machine allows a precise monitoring of all the functions and, therefore, a higher mould quality, handling of internal components and measurement and setting of working times. The electric set-up is user-friendly and allows less production waste, greater speed, precision and repeatability of actions to avoid non-conformities.

The REM 300 is equipped with new IoT devices (Internet of Things) such as vibration sensors, IO-LINK transducers and drivers with predictive diagnostics memories for performance control, also via remote assistance. The machine guarantees reduced energy consumption thanks to the plug and play system, which releases power only when necessary.

“A technology that on the one hand already exists in the world of plastics, but on the other hand is brand-new in that of rubber. This is the result of the company’s huge investments in research and development – explains Barbara Ulcelli, CEO of IMG -. The three elements on which the market has become extremely sensitive and which therefore allow important spaces for growth are environmental impact, cost control, and safety. It’s a radical change that IMG is making towards sustainability: a green vision that finds concrete expression in a product with revolutionary features. The REM 300 is a novelty in the field of elastomer moulding machines that, once again, proofs IMG’s focus on continuous technological innovation to support its customers”.

Last but not least, the REM 300 is very silent: it has a lower impact in terms of noise emissions and in a working environment where noise is a disturbing factor, this is another proof of the operator’s needs awareness. The evolution goes beyond the product, because IMG guarantees a continuous assistance service for every eventuality. The REM 300 is one of the winners of the Tech Fast tender of the region Lombardy thanks to its high level of innovation.

The plastics and rubber machinery market is expected to grow in the coming years, but the present situation presents several challenges for companies. The main problem is the severe delays in the supply of components and spare parts, especially the electronic ones. This leads to much longer delivery times for manufacturers. In addition, the rising cost of electricity is beginning to be felt, both for machine manufacturers and their end customers. 

In this scenario, it is important to develop or expand alternative and regenerative energy sources. IMG has been fully embracing the themes of circular energy, digitization and environmental protection for some time now, and is investing considerable resources in the overall improvement.

IMG has recently partnered with a specialized company that will help increasing the level of digitization internally. A process development program that is already underway will lead to even more precise monitoring of the performance of our moulding machine models, thus achieving greater production efficiency for the benefit of the customer. Digitalization is closely related to the topic of automation. This is increasingly demanded by customers at all levels of the production cycle. There is also a growing interest in predictive and self-correcting capabilities of machineries. IMG is also paying great attention to IoT (Internet of Things) systems for detecting and controlling the performance of the machineries, especially remotely.

Since the foundation of the company, the overall orientation has been in the direction of technological innovation. With the full-electric REM 300, but also with the implementation of other models of proven efficiency, IMG has now all the prerequisites to gain confidence across the Italian borders. In fact, the ambitious medium-term objectives include an expansion in the European market of injection moulding machines for rubber: in Romania the company already counts on the presence of a sales force but it will be implemented soon with a dedicated agent in the German territory as well.