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December 6, 2002

3 Min Read
The multimaterial mold/molding machine

A Portuguese company has developed a multicomponent system constructed entirely around the mold for a fully portable solution.

Tool_Plasdan_mold.jpg

This multicomponent mold, created by Plasdan, is mounted to a rotary table as part of a multimaterial system focused entirely around the tool. In Plasdan’s design, injection units attach directly to a rotating mold.

If multicomponent capabilities are on your company’s wish list this holiday season, you can do a little one-stop shopping with the Plasdan Group. Plasdan (Marinha Grande, Portugal), a plastics machinery and mold supplier, has developed a fully operational, turnkey, multicomponent system including mold, rotary table, injection unit(s), hydraulic power pack, and controls. The only thing missing from this package is a bow, but if you’d like, the company could probably attach a ribbon before putting it under your tree.

What makes this system unique from other 2K programs is Plasdan’s approach. Instead of tackling the multicomponent problem from the injection half of the press, the company looked at the mold half, according to Finn Blom Christensen, area manager for Plasdan Metaco, Plasdan’s operation in the Netherlands.

“[Plasdan] had this idea that you have to concentrate around the mold, and not the machine,” Christensen explains. “You have to develop something that can add value to the mold itself. So we integrate everything through the mold.”

The Total Package
In this case, Christensen really means everything. A mold is created, with multiple hydraulically gated hot runners if necessary, and then an entire system is built around it. Injection units for the additional materials are attached directly to the mold instead of being integrated into the injection half of the press, and the end result is a truly portable multimaterial solution that can be dropped into any standard molding machine.

The injection unit for the system, along with all the other components, is fabricated by Plasdan or outsourced to the multitude of machine shops in the Marinha Grande area. Depending on the number of materials you need in one part, Plasdan can supply a mold with up to four separate units. Functioning as any other injection unit, Plasdan’s includes screw, barrel, heater bands, thermocouples, transducers, nozzle, and hoses to attach it to a hydraulic power pack.

Used to drive the screw, the power pack comes with an adjustable-capacity oil tank (dependent on the injection unit size), variable-displacement pump, pressure transducer, and thermocouple to measure oil temperature.

Rotation of the mold is achieved through a servomotor mounted atop the moving platen that powers a rotary table. The table spins the mold 90°, 120°, or 180° to position the tool for injection of the various materials. The table can be designed to function with machines using Euromap, DIN, or SPI standards. For part removal, the table can apply the machine’s ejector system or use its own. It can also support waterlines for cooling as well as a hydraulic oil supply.

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Plasdan’s multicomponent system was used to create these truck tail lights out of acrylic, PC, and ABS for Fabrilcar.

Completing the package is an electrical cabinet attached to the pump, which houses the control unit and features a PLC with several input and output cards. Heating control is also housed within the cabinet, and a VGA monitor and console are supplied as a user interface.

Drop It In, Let It Run
Plasdan promises time savings since it says the entire system can be delivered with the same lead time as a standard multimaterial mold. The company also promises obvious cost savings over purchasing a separate multicomponent press. Plasdan tests the system prior to delivery and sends sample parts to ensure customer satisfaction before it’s implemented. The technology is currently in use in molding shops in Germany and Holland, creating multimaterial parts for clients like Ericsson, Novo Nordisk, and Fabrilcar.

Contact information
Plasdan Máquinas para Plásticos Lda
Marinha Grande, Portugal
Guida Lourenço; +351 (244) 572 110
www.plasdan.pt

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