Concurrent sessions on injection molding technology, materials technology, and executive/management practices.
Wednesday, June 21—Concurrent Session A
Simplify Your Toolmaking: Tool Steel Inserts from Metal Paste
Scott Kraemer, Mantle
Injection molding relies on the creation of high-quality tooling to produce consistent and precise parts. Traditional methods of creating tooling are time-consuming, expensive, and require extremely skilled labor to produce. Metal 3D printing presented itself as a promising solution to these challenges, but early attempts have fallen short, producing parts without the tolerances, surface finish, and material properties required while requiring extensive capital and facility investment and highly trained operators. These printed tools still required extensive post-processing before molding, eliminating much of the value printing contributed. Mantle identified the numerous challenges with producing injection mold tooling traditionally and the shortcomings of other metal 3D printing technologies and developed an innovative solution specifically for the production of injection mold tooling. Mantle's technology delivers tools with the accuracy, surface finish, and material properties demanded of tooling in a fraction of the time and cost of traditional and other metal 3D printing methods. In this presentation, Mantle's Senior Application Engineer/Tooling Engineer, Scott Kraemer, will explore the metal 3D printing landscape for injection mold tooling, talk about Mantle's advancements in the printing of metal paste for tooling, and discuss real-world success stories of how injection molders, OEMs, and tool shops are adding value with Mantle.
Recent Powder Metal Advancements in Laser Powder Bed Fusion Printing of Tooling
Dave Jankowski, Xact Metal Inc.
The recent introduction of affordable metal powder bed fusion printers has made the technology more accessible for printing of tooling and molds. Metal powders have also been evolving. This presentation will review metal powder bed fusion printing with a focus on powder metals requirements for successful printing of tooling and molds.
Additive Manufacturing—Reorienting the Industry for Production
Ed Graham, ProtoCAM
The presentation will cover the key elements to move AM into production with a focus on process automation.
A Study in Additive Conformal Cooling
Jeff Mertz, Anova Innovations
A case study comparing Conformal/Additive Tooling with Traditionally Cooled Tooling through the entire process, starting with mold design, simulation, mold build, and molding.
Optimizing Injection Mold Cooling
Corey Brown, Burger & Brown Engineering
Mold Cooling can represent 80% of a molding cycle, and yet mold cooling is often an afterthought. Burger & Brown Engineering has developed Scientific Cooling℠, Intelligent Mold Cooling Revealed, helping injection molders understand the science behind cooling. Corey Brown will provide an overview of best practices to balance and optimize mold cooling circuits resulting in a more robust and sustainable molding process.
Remote Monitoring of Mold Cleaning and Diagnostics
Steve Wilson, Cold Jet
Discover the possibilities of bringing digitalization goals to our mold cleaning practices. Industry 4.0 is now being utilized for injection mold cleaning through remote mold cleaning monitoring, scheduling, service, programmable cleaning recipes, and full automation. This session will take the audience through the Industry 4.0 capabilities applied to environmentally friendly dry ice technologies that provide users with a clear view of the data needed to make decisions that will accelerate a return on investment and profitability through increased machine efficiency and uptime. This technology enables machine tracing and support of your installed fleet of dry ice mold cleaning equipment and helps you understand, control, delegate, and orchestrate your daily business without the need to be physically present.
Wednesday, June 21—Concurrent Session B
The Opportunity of Sustainability for Plastics Product Producers
Gamini Mendis, Penn State Behrend
Sustainability concerns are changing the plastics industry. Many consumers are more worried about sustainability and environmental challenges, which has led to government actions as well as mandates by many OEMs on their plastic product suppliers. In this talk, some of the changes on the horizon for the plastics industry will be outlined, and a variety of upcoming technological methods to address these changes will be discussed. These methods include new materials systems, improved manufacturing efficiency through smart and sustainable manufacturing methods, and changes to end-of-life materials management.
Molding With Recycled Materials
Tim McNulty, Canon Virginia
On its surface, molding with recycled material should be the same as molding with virgin material. However, while the material base (PS, HPDE, PP...) is the same between virgin and recycled, the recycled material can be vastly different. Use of fillers, color, and additives in the original processing of the material and any absorption of moisture or items from the original use environment can cause the second generation of the material to be vastly different than the original material. Application of some simple material tests and sorting during the recycled material approval can yield recycled parts as good as virgin parts.
Co-Injection Technology—Then, Now, and How
Andy Stirn, Milacron
Co-injection (or encapsulation) technology has been around for decades, but has reemerged globally as industrial sustainability and recycling compliance is at the forefront. The co-injection process molds a plastic part with an outer skin and inner "core." The skin material is typically a standard resin, while the core later can be just about any material—a high-performance barrier, decorative, or PCR (Post-Consumer Recycled). Recent increased demand to incorporate PCR has revitalized co-injection technology, and now offers the manufacturer more control and improved distribution in the molding process. The Melt Technology Solutions of Hillenbrand (Milacron, Mold-Masters, and DME) embody over 30 years of cutting-edge experience in today's applications, and are eager to offer their expertise in presenting this technology to you.
Sustainable Products Start with Machine Technology
Michael Sansoucy, Arburg
As machine builders, we are part of the solution to the challenges faced by the plastics industry and have much to offer in terms of producing more sustainable products for the world. It begins with how the machine is built, including low carbon footprint factories, small, tight supply chains to limit freight costs, and designing with energy efficiency in mind. The machine controls, especially around injection regulation, are critical in molding reprocessed materials and the newer bio-based polymers. As machine builders, we are part of the solution to the challenges faced by the plastics industry and have much to offer in terms of producing more sustainable products for the world.
PLA + Wood Flour: The New Generation of PLA Injection Molding
Joe Kendzulak, Nissei
Since the oil crisis of 1973, Nissei has been actively engaging in the development of bioplastics injection molding technologies. This lecture covers Nissei's past efforts in utilizing biomaterials as well as the current molding technologies utilizing PLA and PHA.
Leveraging Simulation to Achieve Plastic Sustainability Goals
Matt Jaworski, Autodesk
Big societal and environmental shifts continue to remind us that the world demands new ways of working, living, designing, and making things. The plastics industry, in particular, is under heavy pressure from customers, investors, global competitors, and even legislation to be more sustainable, resilient, and equitable. The difficulty for companies is often figuring out where and how to start without sacrificing revenue. This presentation will review market pressures; show how software tools, like simulation, can be used across different areas to achieve more sustainable business decisions; and present several customer success stories, highlighting workflows that can be implemented in your business.
Wednesday, June 21—Concurrent Session C
Understanding System and Hot Runner Balance in the Mold Qualification Process
Sheldon Alexander, Husky
System balance plays an important role in the optimization of an injection molding process and can be the limiting factor in the production of high-quality parts from every cavity. Learn about the process fundamentals of system and hot runner balance and its impact on mold qualification. The factors that enable well-designed, balanced hot runners and the causes of unbalanced systems will be reviewed. Attendees will learn about the factors that influence short shot balance, how to measure system balance, and how to set system balance expectations based on specific applications.
Advancements in Ease of Robot Programming for Injection Molding Machines
Dan Spohr, Wittmann
How easy can it be to program your robots? Today's new technology allows more advanced robot programs by simply answering a few questions. Learn how simple programming injection molding robots can be and how using robots designed for injection molding can ensure ease of use and faster production times.
Experimental and Numerical Analysis of Tiger Stripes in an Injection Molded Automotive Part
Srikar Vallury, Moldex3D
Surface defects are a major concern for class-A (Visible) parts. Removing these defects from the molded parts is a major processing challenge, especially when the surface defect is tiger striping. In this presentation, we present a numerical as well as experimental analysis of tiger stripes and show how to model and analyze the occurrence of tiger stripes on injection molded parts in Moldex3D simulation software and what processing parameters help to reduce the effect of tiger striping. The impact of types of mesh used for the simulation and its impact on the results is also presented.
Bi-metallic Barrels: What's inside?
Tim Womer, TWWomer and Associates
The mass majority of extruders, blow molders, and injection molding machines have bi-metallic barrels today. This presentation will provide a brief explanation about how barrels are manufactured and discuss the importance of the tribology between the screw flight hardfacing, the barrel bi-metallic liner, and the resin being processed.
Screw Bounce…What Is It & Why You Should Care
David Hoffman, American Injection Molding Institute
Every processor has probably seen, debated, and most likely dismissed "screw bounce." Screw bounce happens as the machine transfers from first stage to second stage. And despite it happening with nearly every molding process to some extent, its root cause and potential impact on process development and the molded parts do not seem to be well understood. For example, screw bounce has a direct influence on the settings used for First Stage Fill Volume for a given mold. Research will be presented that shows the errors in actual versus theoretical fill-only part weight in molding processes both with and without screw bounce, and discuss how the pvT relationship of plastics helps to explain the errors. The presentation will then compare the different First Stage Fill Volume results to Autodesk Moldflow Simulation's results. Finally, a discussion on the influence of the molding machine's response will be included in the presentation.
Sequencing of Multiple Mold Parting Lines or Ejector Plates
Brenda Clark, HASCO America
Z1780 Z1782 Installation information of the Compact Round Latch Lock for more than one parting line opening. On complex injection molds or die-casting tools, sometimes a second parting plane or additional ejection split planes are necessary, for example, in three-plate molds or molds with dual ejector assemblies. To allow defined movement and latching of the moving plates, HASCO has the round latch lock units Z1780/... and Z1782/... designed especially for these applications. The compact round latch lock units have multipoint locking around the circumference, which allows an optimum force running within the mold. The round latch lock units Z1780/… with pulling and Z1782/… with pushing action can be mounted in many ways. Process safety and reliability are further enhanced with thermal expansion offset compensation and integrated collision protection. Practical calculation and installation instructions will be discussed. The functional process for both pulling and pushing units will be reviewed.
Thursday, June 22—Concurrent Session A
The Future of Automation Control
Jim Healy, Sepro
What does the future of injection molding look like? Automation, of course, will continue to be critical… to compensate for the lack of skilled labor and increase overall efficiency and profitability. However, molding machines and the robots that are essential to automating the process likely will be very similar to what we see today. What will change, and change dramatically, will be the robot controls. They will do more, taking advantage of communication and interconnectivity to improve quality and process efficiency. Yet, they will be simpler and easier to use even for operators with limited technical skills. This presentation offers a preview of the tools and capabilities that will be part of the automated molding plant of tomorrow.
The Evolution of Plastics End of Arm Tooling
John Pinchek, Piab
An important step in the injection molding process is removing finished parts from the mold. When done properly, plastic parts will not be damaged while being removed as quickly as possible. Learn how Piab has evolved this process since their Robotic Gripping team automated it back in the 1970s.
New Horizons in Automation: Maximizing Productivity with New Cartesian Robot Technology
Bob Shingledecker, Absolute Robot
Known in the industry as "Cartesian robots," top-entry robots were introduced to the market as simple three-axis pick-and-place devices mainly used to move a part from an injection molding machine to a conveyor, worktable, or pallet. With advances in technology, these once simple robots now commonly have five or even six servo axes with greater precision, more communications capability, and far greater speeds, allowing for multiple degrees of movement that were not possible before.
This presentation will address the following:
- Evolution of the Cartesian robots used in injection molding
- Innovative technology, including additional servo axes, higher speeds, and communication with downstream equipment
- How End of Arm Tooling (EOAT) can be designed to solve a part positioning problem
- In-the-field examples where Cartesian robots increased efficiency of existing downstream assembly cells
Simplifying Injection Molding Machine Operation
William Smith, Kraus Maffei
SmartOperation delivers much greater simplicity in operating injection molding machines and opens up numerous advantages to the user. With this option, we allow for a separation between the process setting and the later operation of the machine in production. SmartOperation helps the operator with simple instructions during production—even during complex processes. This guarantees stable process quality and enables machine operation that is standardized and free of faults.
A Mechanical Analysis of Past, Present, and Future Injection Units
Mike Durina, MD Plastics
The injection molding process for thermoplastics began in 1927 with the introduction of cellulose acetate molding resin. Early injection unit designs were primarily "single-stage, in-line plunger designs." In the late 1950s, two injection unit concepts developed, two-stage plunger or screw pre-plasticating unit, followed by the single-stage in-line reciprocating screw design. Most of the development since 1960 has been done with the reciprocating screw design while a few companies have embraced the two-stage plunger pre-plasticating unit. An analysis of the injection units listed above will be made as well as an analysis of a newly introduced, patent-pending system that employs an on-reciprocating (stationary) helical plasticating screw housed within a heating/cooling cylinder that is coupled to a plunger head assembly, drive housing, and motor that Conveys, Melts, Hemogenizes and Injects molten polymeric material more precisely and efficiently, along One Axis. We explain how the Inject-EXTM design offers numerous mechanical and thermal advantages in processing thermoplastic and thermoset (LSR) materials.
Injection Velocity versus Pressure Control
Brad Johnson, Penn State Behrend
A review of the history of injection control and the pros and cons of each method will be discussed. A study was performed using different viscosity grades of polycarbonate to see how the different control methods performed in regard to the consistency of part weight.
Thursday, June 22—Concurrent Session B
Understanding Process Parameters' Influence Over Part Quality on Injection-Molded Parts
Eric Gerber, SigmaSoft
This presentation will investigate potential molding issues within a given part. When it comes to part quality, it can be tricky to understand the root cause of the problem and what process parameters might help to find a solution. Through this journey, we will see what process parameters have the most significant influence to help fix any issues that might arise.
Benchmarking Physical Foaming Using Simulation
Laura Stuart, TE Connectivity
This presentation will compare simulation results to actual connectors made with the microcellular injection molding process. CT scanning was used to inspect the molded parts. What the simulation did and did not predict correctly and areas for future investigation are reviewed.
How to Document Your Machine Independent Process Variables (and Why You Need to)
Jacque Gibson, RJG
We often hear things like, "This mold runs fine in Press X, but I struggle to get good parts when it runs in Mold Y." This is usually a result of matching process inputs instead of process outputs. The reality is that the mold doesn't know what machine it's in. In this presentation, we will discuss what it means to document machine-independent process variables, the impacts when moving a mold from one machine to another, and the benefits of matching a process from the plastic's point of view. In addition, specific examples will be discussed, showing why and how variables were implemented and the outcome.
Micro Molding – Equipment Approach
Kohei Shinohara, Plustech Inc.
The presentation will talk about the micro molding definition, challenges, and equipment approach. Many case studies will be presented.
The Future Happens Today. Machines take over the Molding Process
Joachim Kragl, Engel
The presentation will cover the broad range of iQ software modules that are part of the latest generation of digitalization tools, which take the guesswork out of the equation of how to establish solid, scientifically established machine parameters. These software tools support the operator in achieving a more repeatable process, resulting in better part quality and reduced wear and tear on the entire molding cell combined with increased efficiency and output. In addition, they help detect process disturbances faster and also will decrease overall energy consumption and lead to a more sustainable production environment with a reduced carbon footprint.
Integration of Smart Technology in Mold Making
Jon Vega, HASCO America
Loc Check, RFID tag, mold memory, and mold screw are the newest items of smart technology used to keep track of where your mold is, design data revisions, and what origin of parts are used within your mold. How to use the current new smart technology in your mold design to further implement options in overall project process will be discussed. The latest in RFID, GSM (not GPS), USB, website, and smartphone applications will be explained.
Thursday, June 22—Concurrent Session C
Method for Capturing a Polymers Molding Characteristics
John Beaumont, Beaumont Technologies/AIM Institute
The most common method used today to access how a polymer will injection mold, is to evaluate its melt flow index. This is only information provided on a material suppliers data sheet that looks at the properties in much more detail regarding the influence of melt temperature and shear rate. What is not well understood is how poorly these extrusion-based methods do to evaluate how the polymer will behave in an injection mold. This presentation will expose the degree of error that is created by these methods. This error is often holding back the development of new polymers, evaluation of recycled materials, and judgments made by product OEMs and molders when selecting materials for their application.
Optimized Laser Welding of Polyamides and Polyesters
Tim Palmer, LANXESS Performance Materials
Laser Transmission Welding is a widely used technology that continues to increase in popularity due to the current trends of vehicle electrification and component miniaturization. While the Laser Welding process is efficient and economical, the quality of the weld produced is dependent on numerous processing and design factors as well as the welding machine parameters. Based on in-house testing of molded parts, this presentation will show how the various parameters can be optimized to improve transmissibility of the "Laser Transparent" component, resulting in improved weld quality and improved performance of the finished assembly. Material selection for specific applications and the effect of the modified parameters on material properties will also be considered.
Redefine Resin Drying
Mark Haynie, Novatec
Learn how you can stop the insanity of time-based drying and, for the first time ever, enable smart drying based on resin moisture. With Novatec's introduction of the Drying Genie, your dryer will know the exact moisture of the pellets prior to drying. Then, the program within the dryer will automatically adjust to control dewpoint, blower speeds, temperatures, and most importantly, residence/drying time, so the resin is dried to the prescribed moisture level in the shortest possible time with no operator intervention needed. With Novatec's smart drying based on resin moisture, you will maximize the performance of your dryer. You'll:
- Make more parts in less time
- Use less drying energy
- Make parts that are always dry, but not over-dried
- Gain higher machine utilization
High Performance Polymers – Tying Material Properties to Application Needs
Arvind Rao, Conventus Polymers, LLC
High performance polymers fill a small but vital niche in many devices we use or are exposed to on a daily basis. Whether it is our mobile phone, home, or car, we enjoy the benefits of the technologies made possible by these materials. In the development phase, engineers must select materials that serve multiple functions. This functionality often stems from the material's inherent properties, such as flame retardancy, dielectric performance, or high temperature resistance. Therefore, the successful part must tie the material's properties to the application's functions.
Moldflow Material Substitute Process…Equivalent Grades?
David Corsi, Beaumont Technologies
The injection molding industry is constantly facing supply chain issues that often require material changes to existing manufacturing projects. Moldflow can be a very powerful tool to help with this if you really understand what goes on behind the scenes of the program. This presentation will share tips and tricks to implement within the software, along with giving an understanding of the current material testing and characterization methods that are out there and how critical they play into the simulation results—in turn, giving you the confidence that you need to use Moldflow as a powerful tool when using it to aid in finding replacement materials as the need arises.
Investigating the Rapid Solidification Involved in Thermoplastic Processing Using Fast Scanning Calorimetry and Beyond
Xiaoshi Zhang, Penn State Behrend
Processing of thermoplastics during injection molding and blow molding usually includes rapid cooling with rates up to 103 K/s and solidification at high supercooling. Fast scanning calorimetry (FSC), an advanced calorimetry, is able to cover high processing rates and wide temperature windows by just using a few nanograms of the sample. With the advent of FSC, the crystallization fingerprint of many thermoplastics has been revealed. In this work, we expand the existing capability of FSC by coupling it with other techniques, including micro-IR spectroscopy (Micro-IR), atomic force microscopy (AFM), polarized optical microscopy (POM), and X-ray computed tomography (XCT). Polymorphism and morphology transition associated with processing conditions will be discussed in polyamide 66, polyamide 6, poly (ether ether) ketone, and its composites. A more accurate simulation of plastic solidification can be achieved using fast scanning calorimetry and related technology.