Hydraulic or electric injection molding machine? That is the question! Below are 10 facts and myths about injection molding machines that you should consider when deciding which machine to choose for your plant. It is important to be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of each of them and to make a decision tailored to the needs of the plant.


1) Price of injection molding machine

The price difference between an electric and a hydraulic injection molding machine has narrowed considerably in recent years. Depending on the equipment and size of the machine, it ranges from a few to a dozen or so percent in favor of a hydraulic injection molding machine. The times when the price of an electric injection molding machine was even 40% higher than that of its hydraulic counterpart are long gone. It is also a fact that companies with a more limited investment budget are still more likely to choose hydraulic injection molding machines.

Electric PX injection molding machine

Electric PX injection molding machine


2) The operating costs of injection molding machines

The price of an injection molding machine should be considered not so much from the perspective of the initial purchase cost, but primarily from the perspective of the long-term operating costs of the machine. An electric injection molding machine is particularly advantageous in this respect.

As a rule, electric machines use 20 to 40% less electricity than corresponding hydraulic machines. The specific electricity savings are strictly dependent on the application, production method and cycle length. Additionally, an electric injection molding machine recovers braking energy and can use it for other processes. It also has a low cooling load, reducing cooling water consumption by up to 70%.

If the issues of ecology and rational resource management are also important aspects in the philosophy of the company’s operation, it is worth considering the choice of an electrically powered machine.


Electric and hydraulic machine in terms of energy consumption:

3) Cleanliness of production and comfort of work

The use of electric injection molding machines means lower noise levels up to 10 dB (A) and cleaner production. If you want the machine to be quiet, not generating vibrations or emitting harmful fumes, an electrically powered injection molding machine will be the most suitable. Electric injection molding machines are also the main choice for clean-room applications.

KraussMaffei injection molding machines

KraussMaffei injection molding machines


4) Availability of cooling capacity in the plant

The electric machine does not require hydraulic oil cooling. If in your plant the cooling capacity is at the limit, it is worth choosing an electric injection molding machine. You will not have to invest in the expansion of the cooling system.


5) Image

The selection of an injection molding machine is often related to the adopted strategic and image assumptions of the company and the plant’s development policy. If a company cares about the image of a very modern production company that follows trends and looks two steps ahead, it should opt for an electric machine.

On the other hand, if the production hall is dominated by hydraulic injection molding machines and you want to rely on the existing machinery park and the current competences of employees, it is better to rely on proven hydraulic machines that you know best.

Both injection molding machines guarantee high quality and precision of production, and the final decision always belongs to the customer.


6) Intended use of the injection molding machine

Both machines are perfect for any industry where production is based on plastic. It is impossible to match a particular injection molding machine to the destination, because the parameters of both in terms of cycle time are very similar. When making a decision, one should take into account the method of production in a given plant and plans for the development of the machinery park. By paying attention to these aspects, you will better adjust the machine.

Hydraulic injection molding machine CX

Hydraulic injection molding machine CX


7) Repairs and maintenance of the injection molding machine

There is a perception that an electric machine is more sensitive and prone to failure than its hydraulic counterpart. This is not true. Electric machines have been on the market for over a dozen years, they are based on proven and reliable components from well-known brands. The fact is that there are fewer components in electric machines that can fail due to the absence of a driveline hydraulic system, filters, valves, seals. From this point of view, the failure rate of electric machines is lower.


8) Control system

Both hydraulic and electric machines share the same control system. The user who is familiar with the control menu of the hydraulic machine, switching to electric, will get exactly the same look. The fact is that an electric injection molding machine can be controlled more precisely, which is due to the characteristics of the servo motors used. Objectively, however, it should be noted that in recent years, hydraulic injection molding machines have been significantly modernized in terms of the precision of valves, pumps and their control, and they offer great opportunities for precise settings and monitoring of operating parameters.

KraussMaffei injection molding machines

KraussMaffei injection molding machines

9) Cooperation of the injection molding machine with peripheral devices

There is no difference in the cooperation with peripheral devices in both types of machines, because the possibility of integration results from the type of control, and not from the injection molding machine drive. Both hydraulic and electric injection molding machines are configured with automation for receiving parts, stacking and packing moldings, as well as in-mold labeling, etc.

10) Trends

Currently, there is more interest in electric injection molding machines on the market. Many of our clients choose them. We notice that while developing the machinery park, they remain with this choice. The displacement and domination of electric injection molding machines in plastics processing will certainly continue.

Read more about KraussMaffei Hydraulic and Electric Injection Molding Machines.