Family molds are often the choice of manufacturers looking to save money on tooling if they need several parts molded from the same resin. However, family molds can be difficult to run and can produce a lot of scrap if the runner system isn’t balanced correctly. At Fakuma last month, Sigma Engineering GmbH (Aachen, Germany) introduced the newest applications of its SigmaSoft Autonomous Optimization for family tools.
In this new simulation approach, contained in SigmaSoft’s Virtual Molding technology, the user can obtain the balanced filling of multiple cavities. The simulation determines the configuration to optimally fulfill this objective, using just one calculation with a variety of variables. The user compares different configurations based on specific values, significantly shortening the time to find the best result.
Trial-and-error experiments are not just moved from the injection molding machine to the computer but reduced to a minimum, since the software facilitates the user’s decisions regarding geometry or process changes.
In one example, the runner system of a family mold should be optimized to achieve a balanced filling of the various parts. These parts are considerably different in volume and wall thickness, resulting in an unbalanced material flow with the original runner system. A single component affected the productivity of the entire process. SigmaSoft’s Autonomous Optimization was used to revise the design and achieve a balanced filling of all cavities of the family mold.
By means of the virtual design of experiment contained in SigmaSoft’s Autonomous Optimization, geometrical changes can be checked with very little effort. At the same time, the influence on defined objectives, such as differences in filling times of multiple cavities or filling pressure, can be evaluated. Thus, users can find the ideal runner design to match requirements quickly and safely, even while combining very diverse parts in their molds.
According to SigmaSoft, new product success requires a different communication between designs, materials and processes. SigmaSoft Virtual Molding provides this communication to optimize the manufacturing process for injection molded plastic components. SigmaSoft’s Virtual Molding combines the 3D geometry of the parts and runners with the complete mold assembly and temperature control system and incorporates the actual production process to develop turnkey injection molding with an optimized process.