Injection molded part design

Sourc:Addtime:2011-7-20 22:05:29 Click:0

Our company (Plastic Components Inc. [PCI]) is a fully-automated injection molder and we continually invest in technology, including our recent adoption of Moldflow's Mold Adviser (which is a substantial upgrade from the previously owned Moldflow Part Adviser).  The software helps us predict and solve injection molding manufacturing problems in the earliest stages of product development.  The Mold Adviser software offers sprue, runner and gate modeling in addition to providing a runner balancing analysis which leads to a more accurate and focused evaluation.  Based on my recommendation, PCI has completed a review of several add on modules to extend the capabilities beyond the cavity filling stage, allowing the simulation of additional phases of the injection molding process to evaluate molded part performance and cooling circuit design.


The Difference Mold Adviser Makes
Moldflow's Mold Adviser can quickly check the manufacturability of a plastic part design early in the design process. With this tool, I can determine the effect modifications to wall thickness, gate location, material or geometry will have on the filling pattern, along with pressure and temperature distribution in the part cavity.  Moldflow also expedites the launch of a potential product by finding the problems with mold design and part design prior to any steel being cut.  This reduces the continuous pressure to decrease “time-to-market”.  Additionally, the greatest advantage is the ability for this technology to bridge the gap between Part Design, Mold Design and Production with respect to identifying potential problems up front that would otherwise add cost and create quality and process efficiency problems down the road.


Identifying Design Issue
When Mold Adviser identifies a design issue, the first recommended step towards a solution is to attempt alternating processing scenarios within the ability of Moldflow (gate locations, processing parameters, material changes, runner and gate design).  All of these parameters weigh heavily on the ability to produce a sound product, thus the ability to experiment with these options prior to the product launch gives the customer options as well as insight into the final product quality.

Often questions that customers should ask when working with a plastics processor on part design projects include:

  • Where are the weld lines and air traps?
  • Where will the gate vestige be?
  • What will the molecular structure be when using a filled resin?
  • Where will the specific areas of sink be located?

Recently, a new PCI customer requested assistance in the final design of a product proposed on their new product line.  In working with them we were able to provide the customer’s part designers and product engineers with insight on sink locations, proposed best gate location, and molecular orientation of glass filler in a curved portion of the part that required flex.  We were also able to integrate with the customers design requirements (end application) and provide insight to the actual manufacturability of the product based on the Moldflow results coupled with injection molding experience.

Since PCI operates in a pro-active culture, the end result saves money for both our customers and our company.  An added benefit is the time saved in the overall tool design stage because we know where the last place to fill is prior to tool fabrication which avoids the 'sample and modify' exercise. Moldflow will also specify cycle time, clamp tonnage and shot volume as well as providing practical, result-specific advice on improving the part and mold design.

In the end, it's all about helping customers create the parts they require, with the design considerations needed for high quality at the lowest possible cost, something that Moldflow Mold Advisor helps PCI accomplish every time.