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Hot-runner and cooling systems are hot stuff at NPE

Synventive Molding Solutions (Peabody, MA), a business of Barnes Group Inc., proves that hot runner systems are a critical component for automotive molds. The company even showcased a 2015 Corvette in its booth at NPE2015, one of the featured hot wheels in PlasticsToday's slide show.

Synventive Molding Solutions (Peabody, MA), a business of Barnes Group Inc., proves that hot runner systems are a critical component for automotive molds. The company even showcased a 2015 Corvette in its booth at NPE2015, one of the featured hot wheels in PlasticsToday's slide show. The company displayed its complete line-up of Synventive activeGate tool-based molding technologies, including nuGate, hGate and Valve Pin Position Monitoring options; modular actuators; and SynCool 3 Passive Cooling for valve-gated hot runner systems.

Synventive's SynFlow offers more than just open/close options, which was once thought to be enough, commented Bill Rousseau, Chief Engineer. "Now we can expand on this progression in two stages. We can control the opening and the flow front," he said.

The company's activeGate products (SynFlow, nuGate, eGate, and hGate) employ sensor technology within the hot runner to provide independent melt flow control at each individual gate. Together, the activeGate family of technologies gives users the ability to mold the highest quality parts through unrivalled process control, says the company. The benefits are significant and include optimum quality surface finishes, increased production rates, decreased scrap, faster mold start-ups, and the ability to mold parts with complex geometries.

Synventive also displayed its new line of patented modular actuators that bolt onto the manifold. These plug-and-play actuators are pre-plumbed, pre-wired and pre-tested, and feature patent-pending easy-access pin adjustment, patent-pending automatic bleed, easy pin decoupling, improved thermal profile, and a cooling plate with removable plug for easier cleaning. They are compatible with the pin position sensor.

The new patented SynCool 3 passive cooling system is designed to work with the new line of Synventive modular actuators and needs no water cooling lines. It offers immediate tool removal without cooling, and preheat without damage to the actuator or seals, and offers the added benefit of no downtime caused by clogged water lines.

Gammaflux L.P. (Sterling, VA), a global supplier of hot-runner temperature control systems, introduced two new options for its G24 product line at NPE 2015. Both options are designed to help increase productivity and profitability for injection molders.

Gammaflux's new Water Flow Monitoring option can be added to any Gammaflux G24 controller. It employs dual output flow and temperature sensors in the molding cell to monitor and ensure proper water flow throughout the mold. Adequate water flow in a hot runner mold is critical in protecting water and valve gate seals, which will overheat and potentially leak without properly chilled, circulating water, noted Gammaflux.

"Good parts are highly dependent on adequate cooling in the mold to control various aspects of the molded part including finish, shrinkage and general dimension repeatability," said Mike Brostedt, Director of Market Development. "Monitoring multiple points of temperature, pressure and flow throughout the mold can identify problems prior to quality control rejection and document production for critical applications."

Water Flow Monitoring is one of Gammaflux's three main suggested molding machine interlocks to prevent problems and potential downtime. The three interlocks include a water/cooling input, which protects water and valve gate seals, and standby input, which avoids burning the material. "All of these are simply to help molders prevent the common problems from occurring," said Brostedt. "They are extremely important for maximizing uptime."

This new Water Flow Monitoring option adds to the advanced capabilities of the Gammaflux G24, which Borstedt describes as much more than just a hot-runner temperature controller. "Our products have really evolved into production monitoring systems for molders," he said. "They are so much more advanced than they were even a few years ago."

AST Technology (Wauconda, IL) knows that the efficiency of mold cooling circuits is critical to a stable process and the manufacture of high-quality, dimensionally stable parts. The company's new System Cooling platform gives molders the ability to monitor water flow and temperature circuits inside the mold.

"There are monitoring devices for mold pressure, injection speeds, cycles and cycle times, but there has not been a comprehensive system for tracking water flow and temperature through the entire mold until now," explained Sujit Sheth, General Manager, Monitoring Division. "Cooling constitutes 60% of a mold's overall cycle time. That means it should be a factor we can harness to help reduce or control cycle times and stabilize part quality."

System Cooling fills that role by monitoring every circuit in the mold individually. With other systems, pressure loss can only be detected based on the time the water goes into the mold compared with when it comes out. System Cooling can protect the mold and improve quality by quickly identifying cooling problems and alerting the user to various common cooling circuit problems, such as no water flow from the mold heater, blocked waterways, scale/rust build-up and incorrect piping.

Molders who run parts with critical tolerances and require consistency of mold cooling can generate reports to support their industry certifications using the system's remotely mounted touch screen controller. The monitor displays the flow and temperature for every circuit and is used to set warning and alarm limits for flow and temperature to all monitored zones individually. Users can view current status graphically or as text, feed alarm signals to ancillary devices such as an alarm tower, hot-runner controller or molding machine, and store data and mold setups in the internal memory, where they are time and date stamped for traceability.

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