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April 1, 2002

3 Min Read
Smart molding meets smart molds

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Curt Watkins, vp and chief technology officer, Plastics Molding Corp. (far left); Dennis W. Richmond, regional sales manager, Ferromatik Milacron (center); and Kirby Johnson, business development manager, Dynamic Feed Synventive Molding Solutions (right) are shown here with the Dynamic Feed control system, which is helping PMC dramatically reduce tool construction time.

Plastic Moldings Corp. LLC (PMC) of Cincinnati, OH dramatically reduced tool construction troubleshooting time on six very complex multicavity family molds for mobile phone cases and was able to go from art to part in less than five weeks. What's more, its molds produced Six Sigma-quality parts regardless of which molding machine they were run on. One secret of PMC's success was Smart Molding hot runner technology, also known as Dynamic Feed, from Synventive Molding Solutions (Peabody, MA).

As previously detailed (see July 1998 IMM, p. 61), Dynamic Feed is a melt delivery system designed to control the plastic going into the mold through independent, real-time, closed loop process control at each gate. Each nozzle has a hydraulically powered flow control pin that automatically controls injection and pack pressure to balance each cavity accurately.

The other secret of PMC's time-to-market success was its own Modutech rapid tooling process. Its Modutech tools match mold inserts, Dynamic Feed hot runner systems, and premachined core and cavity sets to individual customer applications. The slides and lifters are integrated into these fully hardened production tools.

Maybe you saw a PMC Modutech mobile phone mold running in Chicago at NPE 2000.


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PMC is able to mold complex, thin-wall, Six Sigma-quality mobile phone housings in multicavity family molds that it built in record time thanks to the Dynamic Feed inmold process control system.

Smart Molding, Lean Thinking
Way back then, a two-cavity Modutech/Dynamic Feed mold in the mobile phone project was run at the Ferromatik Milacron booth in a Ferromatik Milacron Europe K-TEC 155, an accumulator-assisted racer (for more, see September NPE Showcase 2000 IMM, p. 68). PMC runs more than 50 presses in Cincinnati, ranging from 28 to 400 tons. Most of them are from Ferromatik Milacron.

Tom Hennings, PMC's president, says the mobile phone molds are run with zero inventory in a lean, robotized, single-piece workcell on four K-TEC 155 machines. "The parts are molded, packaged, and that's it, we're finished. We only have a couple of products with any sort of work being done on the parts outside of our cells. Virtually everything we do is done in single-piece flow."

Hennings continues, "We were a beta site for Dynamic Feed. As a matter of fact, we went to Synventive when we first heard about it. We're all on board with it now and the ship has left the dock. It offers tremendous competitive opportunities in both of the industries we serve today—telecommunications and automotive—especially with our Modutech molds."

Time, Hennings says, is of the essence. "Time has always been a big issue, but it's become a bigger one today. Typically, hot runner systems take anywhere from six to 19 weeks to develop, depending on what you're looking for. We had this job running in just over four weeks, but we've done some others in three."


Contact information
Plastic Moldings Corp. LLC
Cincinnati, OH
Tom Hennings
(513) 557-5210
www.plasticmoldings.com

Synventive Molding
Solutions
Peabody, MA
(978) 750-8065
www.synventive.com

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