Modular Hot Runner Systems Controller

Ion Series

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A modular controller for hot runner systems from by Fast Heat Inc. (Elmhurst, IL) yields an early return on investment by helping molders to increase productivity and reduce maintenance, scrap generation, and peak energy demand.

Designed to control up to 24 zones, the Ion Series system makes it possible to save a large fraction of its initial cost by virtue of its accuracy and operator-friendliness, with features like a user interface that is easy to navigate and PID software that takes temperature readings 30 times per second, using that data to maintain temperatures within narrow tolerances.

A conservative estimate by the company indicates that within one year a molder can recover a minimum of nearly US$ 3,500 of the initial cost of the system as a result of these features and capabilities:

Sequenced heating of the tool: the system helps prevent damage to heater seals by heating the largest mass of steel—the manifolds—first, then the drops.

Slaving of zones: when a thermocouple in one zone fails, control of that zone can be automatically or manually switched to another in order to maintain production in the zone where the failure occurred.

Ruggedized circuit boards and components: use of durable industrial components such as triacs and fuses helps prevent the module repairs that plague many hot runner systems.

Reduction in lost work time and guessing at problems: the simple user interface and the alarm display system eliminate need for operator training and save maintenance supervisors from hours of troubleshooting.

Accurate, self-correcting temperature control: this is a key to reducing scrap due to flashing, stringing, and other molding irregularities.

Waterfall arrangement of zones: the Ion controller reduces peak energy demand by distributing power across all three phase legs.

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