MMT Blog

How to Select a Mold Temperature Controller

This recent white paper from Moldex3D sheds some light on a few things mold builders should know before investing in a mold temperature controller:


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This month we are taking the opportunity to look back at a few informative features that have appeared in MoldMaking Technology. Today’s “Throwback Thursday” feature is titled “Best Practices in Tooling for Ultimate Molding Success,” and was contributed by John Berg, director of marketing at Sussex IM, for our April 2018 issue.

In this feature, Berg discusses the advantages of using a systems-engineering approach to optimize critical aspects of product development, mold design, mold building and production. He says, “The key to any successful manufacturing project, and certainly to a project with multiple processes, is collaborative communication… Every good tool shop and every good molder understands this and does this, but all relevant parties should interrogate and consider the entire scope of the project process. This is a practical way to define systems engineering.”

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Hands-on learning is without a doubt an effective addition to classroom curricula when it comes to learning about almost anything. To be sure, it is advantageous to those who want to know more about how to care for and optimize the growing number of hot runner systems being used in injection molds everywhere. In 2018, MoldMaking Technology Editorial Director Christina Fuges and I attended a hands-on mold maintenance workshop at MoldTrax LLC in Ashland, Ohio. We learned so much that we returned to MoldTrax in August this year to further expand our horizons on the topic of hot runner systems, and what a great experience it was.

As Christina notes in her blog recap of this event, anyone working with these systems understands how complex and critical they are to the successful performance of a mold. Christina lists a few things we learned, not the least of which was how to use an Ohmmeter, an important tool for measuring electrical resistance in hot runner systems. But she also shared a few takeaways, which we will break down here.

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Understanding the relationship between the mold and the hot runner system is important for mold builders, toolroom personnel, molders and OEMs because a hot runner is the melt delivery system that moves material into the mold to make a part.

These systems include hot halves/manifolds, nozzles, gates and temperature controllers all of which need to be monitored, maintained and cleaned for optimal cycle time, final part quality, long mold life and minimal maintenance. Complicating matters are the options for hot runner systems, nozzle tips and nozzle heaters.

All of this makes a hot runner maintenance program with purchasing, processing and preventive maintenance training vital to improve performance, and to meet final part production deadlines and quality.

Recently, I attended a three-day hot runner workshop at
MoldTrax with MoldMaking Technology Senior Editor Cyndi Kustush, not only to learn from more than 10 leading hot runner technology and service suppliers, to hear about challenges straight from toolroom personnel across North America, but also to get our hands a little dirty while learning about proper hot runner preventive maintenance.

In moldmaking and molding MoldTrax President Steve Johnson highly recommends that once a manifold hits the bench, a toolroom technician should always take Ohms readings of all thermocouples and heaters. With that in mind, our hands-on time out on the shop floor involved testing heaters and thermocouples for proper ohms and insulation resistance under the instruction of Manny Diaz from Fast Heat.

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