From the Field: Mold Filling Simulation Verifies and Solves Warp in a Plastic Ice Tote
When Beaumont Technologies was solicited by Erie- based injection molder GeorgeKo Industries to use CAE mold flow simulation to prove its hypothesized solution to a warpage issue, Beaumont eagerly took on the challenge.
GeorgeKo’s client hired them to manufacture their ice totes on the premise that GeorgeKo could manufacture them defect free through an injection molding process versus the client’s traditional rotational molding process. If successful, GeorgeKo’s client could see an annual savings of $52,000 due to the manufacturing switch to injection molding.
However, GeorgeKo ran into a snag during the initial production run of 500 pieces. Despite using a post-molding cooling fixture, each of the totes’ side walls began warping inward as much as a quarter of an inch on both sides. GeorgeKo met with mold maker Tetra Tool and developed a solution that, on paper, looked as if it would work. To ensure its success and to get scientific proof, GeorgeKo turned to Beaumont Technologies (Beaumont) for a CAE cooling optimization analysis.
“Together, Tetra Tool and I both knew we had problems with cooling in the corners,” said Matt Koket. “When we drew up a proposed mold design change, my client was not convinced right away. They wanted to see scientific data instead of a hypothetical solution before making the changes to the mold.” That’s when GeorgeKo decided to partner with Beaumont.
As Expert Certified Moldflow® Insight consultants, Beaumont’s engineers examined the ice tote’s mold and cooling system to benchmark the existing conditions. After the initial verification, Beaumont proposed and simulated additional cooling in strategic locations in the core side of the mold to solve the warpage issue. After satisfying GeorgeKo’s client with Beaumont’s in-depth simulation analysis and report (reviewed online via web conference), GeorgeKo proceeded to make the mold design change.
The finished parts were molded as predicted by Beaumont, convincing the client of GeorgeKo’s ability to manufacture the parts defect-free. As such, the client has begun switching many of its current products to injection molding.
Beaumont Technologies is a plastics engineering firm and technology/service provider to the plastics industry. Beaumont’s team of plastics engineers has extensive experience with CAE mold filling simulation software, product development, mold and part design and processing. Founded in 1998, Beaumont has become the plastic industry’s top choice for plastics engineering and consulting services, and the leading provider of technology and software for hot and cold melt delivery systems.
While both hot runner and cold runner systems have their benefits, for design flexibility as well as reduced cycle times and costs, hot runner systems will probably be the better choice.
CAM software should have forward looking features that allow you to work in a traditional programming approach and to step up into a more organized environment that includes storing process knowledge and corporate experiences.
A quality hot runner system is one of the more important enhancements you can incorporate into a mold to improve molded part quality, reduce production times and remain price competitive.