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In-mold injection process produces complex auto part

Injection machine supplier Billion SAS (Bellignat, France) and toolmaker Georges Pernoud North America (GNPA; Rochester Hills, MI) are teaming up at NPE2015 (booth W983-7) to present a multi-shot automotive application. The fully automated process includes the molding of rigid plastic components and a thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) seal, plus the addition of metal inserts. The “single operation” process combines a Billion multi-shot all-electric Select 200-ton injection molding machine with a Multitube tool from GPNA.

Injection machine supplier Billion SAS (Bellignat, France) and toolmaker Georges Pernoud North America (GNPA; Rochester Hills, MI) are teaming up at NPE2015 (booth W983-7) to present a multi-shot automotive application. The fully automated process includes the molding of rigid plastic components and a thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) seal, plus the addition of metal inserts. The “single operation” process combines a Billion multi-shot all-electric Select 200-ton injection molding machine with a Multitube tool from GPNA.

Metal inserts, two rigid polyamide components and a thermoplastic elastomer seal are incorporated into an automotive component using a single tool.

The automotive industry often requires the production of elaborate plastic parts, in particular for under-the-hood components such as ducts or filters, which cannot be manufactured using a traditional injection process. The Multitube concept offers a valuable alternative in that respect, technically and economically. It allows the molding and assembly of several components by overmolding the bonding area. Instead of having two or more parts injected separately, and assembled in a second step, the technology enables the “one-shot” production of a complete finished part from each machine cycle.
The production cell on show at NPE 2015 is composed of an intelligent mold from GPNA mounted on a twin-shot all-electric Billion Select 200 T. machine, complemented with a third electric auxiliary injection unit. The three-material injected part is made of two matching hollow bodies molded from polyamide, fitted with an additional TPE seal and four metal inserts. The three injection phases take place simultaneously during the locking phase, while a robot handles the inserts. During the mold opening phase, metal inserts are positioned and component transfer from one position to another within the mold takes place, as well as finished part take-out. These steps are all carried out by the robot. The Dixit 3 control system on the Billion Select machine undertakes complete control of the process.
The equipment on show at NPE 2015 belongs to the Billion Select series of injection molding machines with clamping forces ranging from 40 to 600 tons. Compared to fully hydraulic machines, and depending on the type of parts produced, the energy savings on Select machines amounts to 50-70%. The energy consumption of the application on show amounts to only 0.56 kWh/kg.
The single-shot process using Multitube tooling is approved according to automotive specifications, in mass-production at Ford, Fiat, Mercedes and Audi, employs standard resins, injection machines, and end of arm tool, and reportedly boasts a pay-back period of less than one year. It can be deployed for parts such as air ducts, water tubes, turbo ducts, filters and air intake manifolds.

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