The Designer's Edge: Tooling in the Press

Randy begins a look at the design, setup and maintenance of a mold while in the injection molding machine.


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Rust that leaked down a water pipe extension into the cavity insert pocket​.

Today, I begin a look at three main areas of consideration when it comes to your mold in the injection molding machine: setup and design, cleaning, protection and maintenance and repairs in the press. This topic covers a lot of areas so I will do my best to cover most of these in depth. And of course will there may be some variation of opinions on this topic depending on the Molder but I am just trying to provide some insight from a tooling perspective.

The first category I will start with is “Setup and design considerations”. This will look at design aspects with the tool that can help with setup and protecting mold components. I am sure most of the molders reading this have design standards in place with this topic but some little things can be overlooked that can cause some minor head aches.

Lets start with water. When designing water lines on the tool you should try to have the connections on the sides or bottom of the mold and try not to have connections on the top of the mold. Yes there are situations where water connections will need to be on the top but only when needed. I’m sure everyone reading has had water leaks and if not cleaned properly and quickly can cause damage with corrosion. Also one issue I have witnessed many times and does not always show up in the molding machine is with O’rings in the couplers going bad causing small leaks that are not always noticeable. And if the tool has the cavity inserted in a mold base with water on the top of the mold with pipe extensions these small noticed leaks can cause headaches for maintenance. The water runs the the pipe extension down to the cavity insert and will rust out the interior of the mold and inserts. This can cause some foul language in the tool room when trying to remove the cavity insert for maintenance. I also have had cases where the water had dripped out of the interior of the mold after the mold was pulled and ran into the cavity surface