Kipe Molds Inc. (Placentia, CA), a designer and developer of tooling and accessory technology for molding liquid silicone rubber (LSR) components, displayed the latest version of its MD 125 Servo Series MicroDeck at the MD&M show in Minneapolis last week. "This MD Servo Series MicroDeck controller was purpose built for liquid silicone rubber molding at the micro level," says Dana King, Business Development Manager for Kipe Molds. The platform achieves exceptional accuracy, says King, adding "there is no flash because the pressure sensor transducer is positioned close to the gate and there are no pressure drops upstream. This also makes it easier to diagnose where you're at in the process," explains King.
The MD 125 Servo Series MicroDeck initially was developed several years ago by Kipe in response to a customer request for a system that would produce flashless LSR components. The customer needed to mold a really small part, and none of the machines it looked at could do the job, King explained to PlasticsToday. "We took it on. George Kipe had the know-how to achieve what the customer wanted, and this collaboration with the customer finally gave him the opportunity to turn his idea into a reality."
Kipe designed and built the system for the customer, who ultimately patented the technology. The original agreement with the customer stated that Kipe couldn't sell the system into the same market as the customer's. However, Kipe couldn't guarantee that if another molder bought the system, it wouldn't be used for that market.
About a year ago, Kipe went to the customer and worked out an arrangement to license the patented system. "We had a pneumatic version at NPE, but that one was not nearly as good as what we have now," says King. "We were already working on the better controls we knew we needed for the medical device market. Now that we have it, we are really excited about the possibilities of the MD Series Servo MicroDeck."
The MD 125 Servo Series MicroDeck's platform supports four injection unit sizes covering a working shot volume range of 0.003 to 7.840 cc, and is capable of molding a 0.007-gram part with no flash. The servo-actuated injection plunger provides state-of-the-art velocity and position control, and can be mounted on standard molding machines. It can also be integrated into a two-shot platform.
The system's HMI touch screen has a purpose-built controls package designed specifically for silicone micro molding. It offers multiple options for injection and hold sequencing to achieve the best process for a customer's molding requirements. Process monitoring and alarm condition settings are designed to support precise production molding, and a Euromap 12 interface for the molding machine enhances the level of controls within the injection unit. Wireless remote process monitoring is an available option.
Boy Machines partnered with Kipe to help develop this system, as the MD 125 is a complementary product to Boy's equipment. "Now, Boy has the complete size range for accurate molding of these small LSR parts for the customer," said King. "Our system will go on other machines, but it fits well with the Boy, in particular."