Once the machine and tooling have passed validation, a process is developed using the decoupled molding technique, which then is further developed into a science-based process and application through testing and recordable data. One analogy that describes the development of scientific structure is this:
We have all seen a pit full of balls that children love to jump into. Imagine that one of these pits is filled with nearly all red balls (the red balls representing processes that do not work and produce scrap or cannot be controlled) and a few blue balls (representing processes that are repeatable and profitable, efficient with little to no scrap). Imagine reaching into the pit with your eyes closed trying to grab a blue ball. With so many red balls, it takes time to finally grasp a blue ball in your hand. When you finally achieve this, you take great pains to record everything you had to do to grab the blue ball so that the next time you try to get it, it becomes easier and faster to obtain.
In a nutshell, a science-based process is a process that has been validated as profitable and repeatable; following validation, a "snapshot" of sorts is taken (through process recording) of all settings and monitoring actual. This helps to ensure that the next time a press is set up, the process can be repeated. It also stores a standard of recordable data that can be compared historically, which helps to identify changes within the core molding system. In essence, the more care we put into documenting every recordable condition from a previously successful run, the easier it becomes to repeat that process.
The following variables should be recorded and monitored as scientific molding data pertaining to the plastic injection industry standards. When changes in molding conditions are noted, these variables can help determine the cause of change, and repeating previous molding variables often will return the process to a good running state.
This article outlines the basic scientific molding approach. We will provide you with multiple reference sources to further examine the applications and theories of scientific and decoupled molding. Some of the primary variables that affect process consistency are listed below.