How to Use Hot Runner Solutions to Help Your Customer

By offering creative, money-saving incentives to the customer, moldmakers can achieve an advantage over competitors.

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For most domestic mold builders, business has been slow. The world market has changed dramatically. The percentage of molds being manufactured overseas continues to grow. Once reliable, customer loyalty is now quickly fading away into the past. As a result, the bottom line to remaining successful is to help the end user increase his or her profit.

Further incentives must be offered by the moldmaker to the end user than in the past. One such incentive is to suggest the implementation of hot runner technology into the mold that perhaps the end user did not consider. The rationale is simple: The North American molder is exposed to the same global business pressures as the mold builder. He must improve quality continually and still lower the price and delivery time. In many instances, molding with the use of hot runner technology offers the molder lower molding pressures, reduced cycles and less scrap material. All of these address the molder's requirement to reduce the piece price.

 

Cold Sprue Versus Hot Sprue

A request for a mold with a cold sprue always should be questioned. Why not use a hot sprue drop? There are only a few instances in which this type of product will not work. In most cases, a hot sprue drop will decrease the cycle time by greatly reducing the size of the sprue, thereby reducing the machine stroke and cooling time.

Why should you suggest this option? Because it is very likely that your competitor will not. That adds credibility to your business because it appears that you are interested in helping the molder maximize his profit. It just may be the reason why you are awarded the contract.

 

Standard JIT Systems

Most hot runner suppliers offer a line of complete or nearly complete JIT manifolds. Typically, they have either a set distance or a range of drop centers available. By using this option, one can save time and money. Deliveries of assembled standard manifold systems usually range from three days to three weeks. The advantages of designing these manifold systems into the mold speak for themselves.

 

Hydraulically Versus Pneumatically Actuated Valve Gates

Often, when valve gates are specified, the request is for hydraulic actuation. This election may be based on old technology in which air-actuated systems did not function as well as hydraulic systems. This is no longer true. Pneumatically actuated systems have a large advantage over hydraulic systems when cleanliness and service are considered. Not only is the oil eliminated, but often the plumbing also is eliminated for the actuation and cooling. The air and water are introduced to the cylinders through gun-drilled flow paths in the mold's clamp plate.

The molder's service requirements are reduced greatly when compared to a hydraulically plumbed, and water-cooled, valve gate system.

 

Prewired Systems

Available from most hot runner suppliers are systems that are prewired to the molder's specifications before they are shipped to the mold builder. They are preheated and tested by the hot runner manufacturer before being shipped - a procedure that can lead to a substantial savings for the moldmaker, because he or she will know the costs up front for quoting and will not to have to absorb additional hours for wiring the system. Furthermore, smoother mold tryouts are assured because all of the control zones have been tested and verified.

The moldmaking methods that have worked for your company in the past may not carry you into the future. You must be willing to change them if necessary.

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