February 19-21, 2007 in Austin, Texas
Session 1: MANUFACTURING CELLS: Adding Value to Injection Molding Services
Moderator: Herman Plank, Tecnokal LLC
Session 2: Emerging Molding Technologies and Novel Molding Equipment
Moderator: Uwe Haupt, Arburg
Session 3: LSR MOLDING: Innovations; Markets; New Opportunities
Moderators: Ed Laperriere, Wacker Silicones, and Tim Erwin, Spectrum Plastics
Session 4: New Opportunities in In-Mold Labeling
Moderator: Rick Shaffer, Netstal Machinery
Session 5: “Best Practices” in Molding Operations
Moderator: Deb J. Bristoll-Weis, President/CEO, Engineered Plastics Corporation
Session 6: Multi-Material Molding and In-Mold Assembly
Moderator: Tom Betts, Battenfeld of America
Monday, March 3, 2014
Utilizing proprietary research over the past twelve years, the presentation will discuss the impact of global consolidation on the molding market. With over 58% of the top 50 plastic companies in 2001 having undergone a change in ownership, or having been eliminated over the past 12 years, the presentation will cover valuable strategies to help company owners understand and “win” in today’s mergers and acquisitions market.
Silicone products manufactured with high-end injection molds are often requested due to the requirements on volumes and quality which both is “on the rise”.
This presentation invites to a small journey from the basics of LSR cold runner technologies, mold and parting line concepts and what to expect on your part based on the technology used. Further we are touching on some special technologies such as UV cure LSR, Micro Molding and 2K.
Injection molding of silicone parts has enabled producers to achieve higher levels of automation and productivity than ever before. Molders and OEMs can now manufacture articles for a variety of devices and components with very demanding performance specifications. Selecting an acceptable liquid silicone rubber (LSR) elastomer, however, can be a challenge. Since there are many part geometries, sizes and weights as well as number of mold cavities, it is difficult for a traditional two-part LSR with a fixed cure rate to produce optimized molded parts considering the need to use different injection molding equipment. The product designers and engineers have many materials and processes to choose from. Even for a given durometer LSR, the options are extensive and many hours can be spent making the selection and defining the process. By providing the molder control of the LSR cure kinetics, Bluestar Silicones has changed the dynamics of liquid injection molding.
LSR SELECT is an innovation that will fundamentally change the way molders develop and optimize their products in the future. LSR SELECT is an innovation breakthrough changing the LSR liquid injection molding process by allowing the molder to adjust the LSR cure rate on the machine before and during the production process resulting in 20 – 50% average cycle time improvements. The ability to control the silicone cure reactivity brings multifaceted potential for savings and more molding flexibility to the fabricator level. Each individual part and process design can now be fully optimized for productivity and part quality from the very beginning of the design process. From flash reduction to quality improvements to productivity increases, LSR SELECT gives the molder the power to control and to optimize.
LSR SELECT is a patentented technology of Bluestar Silicones and is the same basic chemistry as the traditional two component platinum-catalyzed silicone LSR elastomers. This new system changes the “Part A/Part B-kit” paradigm, giving the molder a new toolbox with which to optimize his system during the production process.
About the author!
Dr. Umar Latif, Bluestar Silicones North America
Dr. Umar Latif is the Technical Service Manager at Bluestar Silicones, North America. He started as a senior scientist/formulation chemist and was responsible for developing new products in the sealing & bonding, moldmaking and textile coatings technologies. Later, Dr. Latif moved to the technical service/application development as a Senior Scientist/Technical Service Specialist with a focus on the healthcare market and was responsible for new product development, bringing those products to the market and providing technical assistance for application development to customers with new and existing Bluestar products. His areas of expertise include a wide range of technologies such as medical devices, injection molding, extrusion, moldmaking, sealing & bonding, textile coatings, wound and scar care, comfort care, orthotics & prosthetics etc and products such as LSR, HCR, RTV, gels, skin adhesives, foams etc.
Dr. Latif holds a Ph.D. and an M.S. degree in polymer chemistry/silicone polymers from City University of New York and completed his bachelor’s degree in chemical technology and biotechnology from Saint-Petersburg State Institute of Technology, Saint-Petersburg, Russia.
This presentation will focus on outlining the proper technical elements which are required for controlled and consistent dosing of liquid silicone rubber in the liquid injection molding process. Standard dosing solutions will be discussed, as well as tandem dosing and custom dosing solutions.
The following presentation will explore the advantages and limitations of applying cavity pressure and cavity temperature sensors in the mold. Through instrumentation we will discover the nuances of processing with silicon, such as inconsistent cavity balance that result in part variation. Through this discovery we will be able to choose the appropriate process methodology for your product.
Presentation will cover selection factors in determining why to use thermoset elastomers (LSR) in place of thermoplastic elastomers (TPE). The presentation material will also discuss bonding requirements and possible bond failures causes and continue with mold design considerations and cavity designs. Cavity design will lead into part transfer methods and options for machine configuration.
Over the last decades, the number of electrical systems in cars did significantly increase. While electrical side-windows, airbags or air-condition were perceived as luxury in the 1980s, they are now pretty much accepted standard. At the same time, the goal of increased engine efficiency meeting tighter and tighter emission regulations calls for numerous secondary systems, sensors and control units. All these devices require electrical connection. For reliability those connections have to be resistant against significant temperature changes, working at high and low temperature, survive exposure to moisture and a variety of liquids present under the hood.
The performance of modern cars nowadays fundamentally depends on reliable sealing of the electrical connections. Silicone elastomers have the necessary set of properties more than any other elastomer material. The designated grades for these applications are self-lubricating to enable the assembly of the electrical contacts attached to the cables. Since more than 30 years especially Liquid Silicone Rubber succeeds in this segment based on its excellent fit for high yield mass production application.
Finally technology has caught up with demand. Gone are the days of shooting large sprues and runners just to consume resin. This presentation will review the technology of molding LSR and in particular the demands of producing moldings weighing for example .75 mg (milligram) with a sprue weighing 86 mg. The latest in machine technology to support producing these demanding medical components will be reviewed as will the micro mold technology that when coupled with the machine make it all possible. Video clips and slides will be used to further demonstrate how far the technology has come.
Presentation will explain the basic concept and function of expansion molding and continue with an explanation of how expansion molding can be used for micro-shot control. The presentation will use case studies to support the use of expansion molding and also explain the limitations of expansion molding.
State of the art simulation considers every technical detail of an injection molding process. Mold filling and part curing can be evaluated with a high degree of accuracy. Mold temperatures throughout the entire molding cycle can be evaluated – considering an entire mold with all components and even the cooling of the parting plane in between two cycles. Several consecutive cycles can be performed to analyze a quasi stationary mold temperature. But until today, the full potential of simulation is often not generating the real world value necessary to substantiate working with a CAE engineering service.
This paper looks at a specific project and assesses filling patterns, part curing and especially thermal mold evaluations using various mold steels, heater cartridge placement as well as the use of insulation plates etc. Real world simulation results will be illustrated.
Clarifying what can be done to Molding machines to support the different Clean Room Classifications and the potential modifications needed. How to prepare and build a machine for a Clean Room usage. Discuss some features on Electric and Hydraulic machines for Clean Room environments.
There is a growing need for overmolding RFID tags and antennas in the injection molding industry. Applications include a variety of traceability devices spanning many markets. An overview of some current overmolded applications will be given and details on how they are injection molded.
Discuss and present the trends and drivers that are present and driving outsourcing and manufacturing decisions using statistics and examining macro economic trends in the global healthcare markets. Explore the impact of the Medical Device Tax and PPACA (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act – USA) on the US and global Medical device markets. Focusing on Injection Molding and Plastic related disposables in particular.
Show comparison of global markets in relationship to each other and which therapies and product / device segments will outperform or under perform in relation to the broad healthcare market.
Site examples of recent M+A (mergers and acquisitions), in the contract manufacturing and outsourcing sectors, along with strategies and drivers of these deals. Additional economics of the medical plastics markets and opportunities for growth in the manufacturing sector(s). Closer examination and examples of products, markets and technologies that will continue to grow and do well in the new global healthcare landscape.
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
This presentation shows how critical performance factors can affect the return on the investment. Starting with the application review (e.g. beverage and specialty closure applications) and working our way back to the pellet through the melt stream the right complete system solution can improve your investment utilization. By providing a complete system solution, Husky is able to make system-level enhancements that provide higher levels of productivity, reduced waste, and improved part quality leading to higher Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE).
The session will highlight the latest developments of the TIM (Total Integrated Manufacturing) concept for multi-component molding and in-mold assembly using a four-sided turning stack together with external reciprocating/rotating pick and place mechanisms that interact with the exposed sides of the tool during the molding cycle. The presentation will include the sequence of operation, benefits and applications of the TIM concept as well as a number of variants and elaborations.
This presentation from Sumitomo-Demag focuses on increasing production efficiency of injection molded components by reducing costs associated with color changes. Quicker color changes and reduced scrap can be accomplished through activeColorChange technology by keeping color contamination of plasticizing components to a minimum. Furthermore, material and colorant cost savings can be realized through the use of liquid colorant in smaller concentrations. Case studies will be presented to quantify the cost savings of real world production applications which implement activeColorChange technology.
The benefits offered by hot runner systems for the injection molding industry such as material savings and cycle time reduction are widely known. However, in the past very little attention was paid to the amount of energy required to operate the hot runner equipment. Energy savings have become increasingly more important as electricity costs have increased in recent years.
Hot runner systems are comprised of hot runner nozzles and a manifold for multi cavity applications. The melt conveying channels inside these components are typically heated with 230V heaters. The energy requirement for these heaters depends on the type of resin, nozzle/manifold mass and other factors.
Through the use of new materials and manufacturing methods the energy consumption of hot runner nozzles can be reduced on average by 35%. The energy savings for the nozzles can be significant when higher cavitation molds are produced due to the high number of nozzles installed.
While there is usually only one manifold in a hot runner system the amount of wattage required to heat the manifold block can be quite high due to the size and mass of the steel block. To minimize the heat radiation from the manifold block the hot runner manifold can be completely encased with insulating material. All components of the manifold which are in direct contact with the tool are also made of special insulating materials resulting in further energy reduction.
Besides the pure energy savings the heat distribution of the tool is thus only minimally affected. Optimizations to the nozzles and manifolds can be made that not only reduce costs by saving energy, but also result in a more stable temperature balance of the entire tool.
Examples of hot runner installations using these methods can show the efficiencies gained. The longer the mold is running in production the larger the savings. These savings will only become more significant in the future as the cost of electricity is expected to rise even further.
CGI technology allows you to 3D scan and measure your hollow injection molded parts. CGI accurately and completely 3D scans your entire molded part, inside and out.
First, we encase your hollow plastic part, in a liquid material of a contrasting color. We then cut ultra-thin layers of your potted part, while digitizing each layer with a high-resolution camera. We repeat that cut-and-scan process until the entire injection molded part is completely digitized. The CGI process generates a 3D point cloud of the entire part; internally as well as externally. This 3D point cloud can then be measured or used in a direct comparison to its 3D CAD model; allowing a comparison to the intended design. The CGI process will allow you to shorten tooling qualifications and get your injection molded product to market faster.
For decades molders have been figuring out ways to trace a quality defect back to a molding machine, mold cavity, date, time and operator. Recent advancements in molding machine software also allow you to trace and tie process data such as injection pressure to a particular part. But molders rarely get to this point, let alone look beyond. What about the material? Was it dry when molded? Was it the right melt type? The right lot number? How about the right material all together? It is almost guaranteed that molders have seen this regularly in their careers and the wasted dollars associated. It is a completely avoidable scenario in your process with advancements in technology.
Wittmann Battenfeld’s material handling system control, the M7.3, has advanced to a level of total traceability of your material right from reading a Gaylord lot code, to scanning a bar code on the mold to ensure the parts are being processed with exactly the right material. With this technology you can do the following:
Never again lose track of your process, or put anything to chance with your operators. Have total control and total accountability.
Athena has developed a unique hybrid machine platform that is space and energy efficient with the largest mold capacity in its class. With cleanly integrated services, Powerlink protocol and a base-mounted robot, it is ideal for system integration. Customized solutions are available for PET preform production, stack and cube molds, specialty closures and in-mold assembly.
I’ll outline the basic platform, PET advantages of cooler preforms demonstrated at DrinkTec today and the highlight would be a new patented solution for in-mold assembly. As compared with alternative solutions, this concept uses less floor-space, 1 integrated process and a standard molding machine and molds.
The primary function and use of FFC is to balance the pressure ratios in a cavity or between cavities to optimize processes and achieve corresponding improvements in quality. It is a robust yet simple option which, up until now, had to be run at critical levels using complex adjustments. An explanation will be given as to how the process works in conjunction with the Zero Molding features on the Sumitomo machines. Examples will also be given that show real world applications and the subsequent improvements after using FFC.
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Silicone elastomers encompass a broad range of synthetic rubber applications and having been in existence for nearly 70 years, fabricators and end-users alike have sought to exploit the range of benefits that silicone provides in a cured rubber form. A somewhat newer lineage of this polymer family, Liquid Silicone Rubber (LSR) has gained increasing popularity for designers and fabricators for a variety of reasons including short cycle times and flexibility in mold design. Dow Corning Corporation has had many innovations in silicone technology throughout these 70 years. Now with the introduction of yet a fourth generation LSR offering (Gen4-LSR) called XIAMETER® brand RBL-9200 Series the heritage continues.
This Gen4-LSR effectively compliments the most recent advances in molding technology with a focus on rheological behavior to gain cycle time improvement. While similar in many respects to legacy generations of LSR product families, improvements in the manufacturing process (mixing & treating technology) and optimization of the LSR formulation have delivered clear performance improvements versus prior LSR offerings.
The rheological benefits gained from this new technology translate to faster processing and better part quality without the typical tradeoffs in mixed scorch safety through a combination of enhanced mixing technology in conjunction with the use of optimized cross-linker/plasticizer and silica packages.
This paper will serve to qualify and quantify these rheological benefits, with a focus on processing, by showing enhancements in production throughput. This is easily visualized with Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) software. SigmaSoft® CAE software with analysis performed by Kruse Analysis, Inc. is useful to characterize LSR materials using a “Shot Glass” mold CAD model and the actual rheological data obtained from testing the subject LSR material in an ATD1000 Alpha Technologies Rheometer. As inputs to the CAE software, the data produces an accurate depiction in a dramatic 3D Simulation.
Simulation accuracy is assured by use of the following key material property models:
Thus, the rheological benefits of this Gen4-LSR can clearly and accurately be demonstrated showing the material’s processability characteristics in time-lapse 3D isometric view. Finally, using process mold-trials of a complex “Shot Glass” cold runner injection mold produced by MR Mold and Engineering Corporation, a relationship of rheological behavior and injection molding process performance is realized.
In today’s global manufacturing environment, molders are looking to optimize their injection molding processes in every way possible. Highly-Engineered Machine Nozzles can improve the injection molding process in a variety of ways.
One way molders can maximize the productivity of their molding operations is by minimizing downtime that occurs due to poor processing or failure of the mold. Minimizing the clogging of gates and/or hot runner tips due to foreign material or contamination in the melt stream is perhaps the most obvious and readily cost effective way that Machine Nozzle Filters improve productivity on plant floors. The cost to take a mold out of operation, re-schedule molding operations, disassemble the mold and repair or replace damaged tips or gates – just once – is commonly greater than the cost of the Nozzle Filter itself.
Molders using additives at the injection molding press, such as colorants, commonly employ Mixing Nozzles, which improve the dispersion and mixing of additives, which can improve molded part quality, while simultaneously reducing the volume of additives used. However, it is important that a high-quality Mixing Nozzle that minimizes shear and pressures drop be utilized.
Finally, Shut-Off Nozzles can minimize drool in molding operations where the injection molding press is frequently disengaged from the mold, such as in many 2-Shot Molding applications. Again, choice of a high-quality Shut-Off Nozzle is important to ensure that unnecessary complexity and cost is not introduced into the molding operation.
High-quality Machine Nozzles improve the efficiency of molding operations, while reducing overall costs of materials and downtime. Highly-Engineered Machine Nozzles, using new technologies, offer significantly improved performance, including lower pressure drops and enhanced ease-of-use. Molders are taking a fresh look at these new technologies to see how they improve molding operations.
During production, even an optimized process can be changing. By controlling two- dimensional plastic conditions from inside of the mold, consistent quality parts can be produced independently from machine to machine.
Results achieved by controlling material viscosity (shear stress and shear rate), part compression and part shrinkage for medical and automotive applications will be summarized. In addition, new methods for streamlining costly and time- consuming mold validations based upon this advanced process control technology will be presented.
In the past few years, 3-D Printing technologies have had growing visibility in the news media and growing interest among public and private equity investors. This attention has increased even further with the creation of NAMII, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute.
An important question for injection molders is what impact this rapidly growing industry will have on their businesses. Is it a threat to their livelihood, an opportunity for growth, a useful tool, or merely a fad, with only niche applications in the real world of production?
Recent developments, which include multi-material and multi-color technologies, direct printing of optics, major investment by aerospace companies, and the emergence of an open-source community, may all have some bearing on the future.
This presentation will look at 3-D Printing and its inroads into the molding industry, covering the evolution of materials, processes, and business models.