Technology Showcase (March 01, 2005)
Mold Optimization Technology Contributes to Molding "The Perfect Ball"...
Mold Optimization Technology Contributes to Molding “The Perfect Ball”
Concerns over minor processing/molding flaws, scrap and waste generated during manufacturing, and delays caused by product changeovers were very important for leading golf ball manufacturer Dunlop Sports Manufacturing (DSM), of Westminster, SC. Because of a relationship between Dunlop and an Erie, PA-based firm called Beaumont Technologies, Inc. these concerns were laid to rest with economical mold optimization tools that assisted Dunlop to surmount technical challenges on the production floor.
In the manufacture of golf balls, consistent polymer flow into the molds is paramount — it is this property that molds dimensionally stable (perfectly balanced golf balls) balls, and eliminates unsightly mold blemishes from the final product. Dunlop also has the added challenge of constantly changing lines to accommodate a variety of products, so even melt flow is tested to the limit.
“There are issues during changeover with mold balance and startup, but once we licensed the MeltFlipper technology used on our Nissei and Newbury 150-ton presses, we don’t have to check or open gates to eliminate flow marks on the outside mantel of the balls — now all flow fronts come to one point and we achieve a well balanced flow in our multicavity molds.”
Developed by Beaumont Technologies, MeltFlipper is an optimization tool that provides a mold imbalance solution by rotating the melt, thereby strategically repositioning the various melt regions to ensure balanced filling between cavities.
As a result, Dunlop realized faster cycle times, and better fill balancing that produced higher quality golf balls, all while eliminating typical processing problems such as short shots, dimensional variations, mold marks and core shifts, to name a few. The process yields higher mold efficiencies for lower part prices, and faster mold commissioning times.
Beaumont Technologies Inc. 814-899-6390
Largest-ever MuCell part has thin walls and no warping
Uses much smaller IMM than required for conventional injection molding
An Engel Duo 11050/1700 injection molding machine operating in Sheffield, UK, is currently the world’s largest machine equipped for MuCell microcellular foam injection molding. The machine has clamping force of 17,000 kN and a MuCell unit with a 150 mm diameter screw.
It is being used by Loadhog Ltd. for injection molding the 1.2 m x 1.0 m large polypropylene (PP) base for its innovative reusable pallet lid (Loadhog Lid) used to secure and stack palletized goods for transport and distribution.
A further Engel machine, an Engel Duo 7050/900 (clamping force 9,000 kN, 105 mm MuCell screw), uses the same technology for the production of two upper halves which are then assembled with the base and various components to form the complete Loadhog Lid.
One of the principal advantages of MuCell parts is their extremely high dimensional stability without warping, sink marks or loss of strength, even in cases such as this one, where the parts for the 1.2 m2 lid are only 2.5 mm thick. A characteristic feature of this variant of the injection molding process is the extremely regular microcellular foam structure throughout the entire molded part.
Other advantages, compared with conventionally molded parts, are: reduced weight of the part, considerably reduced clamping force requirement, greater ease of processing and shorter cycle times. Engel was closely involved in the development of this innovative part from the initial idea through to its ultimate readiness for mass production.
Before Loadhog decided to use MuCell technology for the manufacture of its Loadhog Lid, several other options were also benchmarked. Competing in a series of comparative tests were parts manufactured by conventional injection molding, injection-compression molding and structural foam molding using chemical blowing agents.
The decision fell in favor of MuCell technology, not only for technological reasons but also from an economic standpoint. Apart from the fact that a conventionally injection molded part would have been heavier, and that warpage, shrinkage and sink marks would have been inevitable, the injection molding machine itself would have had to be considerably larger: a clamping force of 30,000 kN would have been required, compared with 17,000 kN for a MuCell part. Loadhog would have had to invest in a much larger machine. Although the addition of chemical blowing agents through structural foam molding partially solved the problems of warpage and sink marks, the coarse and uneven structure of the foam gave rise to certain weak spots which were particularly disadvantageous in the case of this extremely thin-walled part.
Engel has developed injection units specially for the MuCell process: the screw (L/D = 24) is a three-section screw with a subsequent mixing section for the supercritical fluid introduced by the MuCell unit. A feedback hydraulic accumulator ensures injection of the melt into the mold at optimum speed.
Angled material receivers make loaders easier to use, maintain
The newest hopper loaders from Conair not only look different, they are different, equipped with innovations that make them easier to install and easier to clean: a hinged lid, an angled canister, consolidated terminals and pneumatics, and modular valves with common seals.
The new Conair Access loaders suit applications on machine hoppers, blender bins or drying hoppers. They are available in two self-contained motor-loader sizes — 0.25 cu ft and 0.5 cu ft — and in three central-vacuum sizes — 0.25, 0.5 and 1.0 cu ft.
The angled Access loader canister has several distinct advantages over the standard upright cone configurations that have dominated the industry:
* It is easier for maintenance personnel to see and reach inside for cleaning purposes.
* The angled canister also suits installation on blender bins, where multiple loaders need to fit in a confined space.
It also allows more room for connecting material, air and electrical lines and for maintenance work.
Stephen Sales Group 905-940-5577, Auxiplast Inc. 450-922-0282
Multifunctional controllers have choice of outputs
To address the need for an affordable and multifunctional line of 1/8 DIN – 48 x 96 mm controllers, Athena Controls introduces the Platinum Series X400 line of temperature controllers and the X5000 line of process controllers. Features include a choice of analog, heat/cool, valve control outputs to provide compatibility among a range of actuators. The Platinum Series “X” Line provides options for interfacing with other devices via multiple communications protocols, analog retransmission output, remote setpoint and multiple digital linear and non-linear universal inputs.
Process Heaters Inc. 877-747-8250
Mobile workstation houses ultrasonic welder
Hermann Ultrasonics’ Ultracell mobile workstation is a self-contained, sound-reducing unit that seamlessly integrates any of Hermann’s digital ultrasonic welders with an external control. The external control eliminates the need for any manual weld parameter adjustments inside the enclosure.
The main component of the modular Ultracell is the sound enclosure. The interior is lit with fluorescent lights and lined on all sides with sound-absorbing foam. Two lockable access doors are provided.
A sliding view pane in the front seals the work area during a weld cycle. Integrated switches for cycle start, emergency stop and the main power disconnect are all conveniently located on the front of the unit.
Hermann Ultrasonics 847-985-7344
Easy seal replacement cuts valve downtime
Fast and easy seal replacement on Premier Pneumatics’ Tunnel Diverter Valves minimizes maintenance downtime. The seals are accessible wit
hout disturbing the valve’s installed, supported position, and without removing the housing, rotor or bearings.
Premier Pneumatics Inc. 785-826-9302
Plastic gaylord bins for temporary storage
For temporary material storage and transport, IMS Company provides plastic gaylord bins as an alternative to steel storage bins. The rotomolded plastic gaylords are durable, portable and waterproof.
They have about 1200-lb. capacity and a volume of 34.3 cubic feet. They can be stacked three high when fully loaded with lids in place. Lid pockets help to align and secure the stacked bins. Four-way, oversize entry pockets allow the bins to be moved and stacked by a forklift.
IMS Company 440-543-1615
Blown film air cooler boosts productivity
Sterling’s SBFC Series blown film air coolers offer processors a simple way to increase productivity by up to 25% by eliminating a production variable. The blown film coolers boost productivity by using full-engineered chilled water coil assemblies. This delivers air ring cooling at constant temperature, pressure and volume.
SBFC coil modules are ready to install into existing air handling and chilled water systems. They are factory piped and insulated.
CNSmith Plastic Machinery Sales 416-917-3737
Clean-room pouch machinery
GN Packaging Equipment is now manufacturing pouch machines to be used in a clean room environment. Using special air cylinders, non-particle generating systems and special air exhaust systems, GN machines have met the strict guidelines required for a clean-room environment. Also included with these machines is a dedicated roll handling system for quick change-over.
These pouch machines can be applied to food and medical packaging.
GN Packaging Equipment 905-670-0383
Clean, pure acrylic suits optical and auto parts
Exceptional clarity for optical and automotive applications is now easily achieved with CYRO Industries’ Acrylite SuPure acrylic polymer. Acrylite SuPure polymers are free of material defects, dust and contaminants resulting in visibly pure-molded parts and reduced processing defects.
The SuPure acrylic polymer system combines proprietary manufacturing technology along with state-of-the-art packaging to ensure polymers are free of foreign materials from manufacturing to the point-of-use in customer facilities.
Acrylite SuPure polymers are suitable for optical lenses and visual applications offering several processing and durability advantages over optical glass.
SuPure acrylic polymers are available in a number of different grades to offer high heat resistance, excellent flow properties, and high molecular weight for stiffer polymers.
CYRO Canada Inc. 800-268-4837
Lower-cost light stabilizer uses lower UV loading
Cytec Industries’s Cyasorb UV4801 offers superior light stabilizing performance, low color contribution, excellent LTHA properties, and cost savings through significantly lower active UV loadings. Cyasorb UV4801 is available in low dusting pastille form.
This new technology additive is sanctioned by FDA in polypropylene, high density polyethylene, and low density polyethylene.
Univar Canada Ltd. 416-740-5300
Stabilizers suit both PVC pipe and indoor flexible PVC applications
Crompton Corp. is launching a patented line of Organic-Based Stabilizers (OBS), free of heavy metals, for North American markets. OBS products are proven to offer low migration, low odor, low VOC, good initial color, excellent transparency and outstanding durability in rigid and flexible PVC compounds.
The OBS line not only meets the needs of PVC pipe manufacturers; they are proven effective for indoor flexible-PVC applications, including flooring, wall covering and automotive plastisol products.
As well, for rigid PVC injection molding applications, Crompton offers the OBS 300 series. PVC compounds using OBS 300 demonstrate comparable processing to traditional materials, with the advantage of no odor and high heat distortion.
PU foam meets auto interior VOC rules
BASF is the first supplier to develop a semi-rigid polyurethane foam for use as backing for soft instrument panels and door trim skin in automobiles that meets car makers’ new requirements for materials that contain fewer volatile organic compounds (VOCs) while maintaining very high physical property standards.
The Elastoflex polyurethane foam contains less than 100 parts per million of VOCs. According to BASF, typical foams have as much as 800 parts per million or more. The low VOC content helps to prevent condensation on the interior side of windshields that can create a fogging effect.
The material has applications in commercially available Mercedes M Class vehicles in North America and Europe.
BASF Canada 800-267-2955