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Temperature controllers faster, clean-room ready

Issue: September 2018

Hot-runner temperature controllers unveiled at NPE2018 boast enhanced features, such as faster startup and clean-room compatibility. Some also incorporate software programs that precisely control motions actuated by servo motors, such as valve-gate movements.

HUSKY CONTROLLER GETS FASTER PROGRAMS

Husky updated the software in its Altanium hot-runner temperature controllers for faster startup, as well as quicker display screen responses. In addition, its new valve-gate sequencer program improves Altanium’s valve-gate control.

Altanium combines control of the temperature and the servo-driven motions in the mold in a single unit, which reduces costs and saves floor space, the company said. The controller incorporates technology that provides centralized control of movements within the injection mold, including servo-actuated motions of the valve stem, core pull, unscrewing rack, eject plate and coining plate. According to the company, it is the first fully integrated servo, valve-gate and temperature controller on the market that is globally supported from startup to production.

Husky offers the Altanium controller in three versions: the Neo5, Delta5 and Matrix5.

The Altanium Neo5 is the most cost-effective controller in the series. It provides temperature control over two to 48 zones and is especially suited for use in molds with 16 cavities or fewer. Husky said it boots up in half the time of the prior model. Icons and control screens have been updated so they are easier to use.

The Altanium Delta5 controller provides up to 128 zones of control and is optimized for molds with up to 96 cavities, the company said. It can control Husky’s UltraSync-E servo-
driven plate-actuation technology, which synchronizes the movement of each valve stem in a multi-cavity or multi-drop tool. Boot-up time is half that of the previous model, Husky said.

Designed for molds with more than 96 cavities, the Altanium Matrix5 controller can control up to 256 temperature zones. The unit controls Husky’s UltraSync-E.

The Altanium Matrix5 also incorporates the Altanium servo-control software, which can control six axes of motion in the mold that are driven by servo motors. Husky said boot-up time for the Altanium Matrix5 is under five minutes with the upgraded software.

The Altanium Matrix5 and Altanium Delta5 also incorporate a new valve-gate sequencer that sequences the operation of as many as 16 hydraulically or pneumatically driven valve gates. This is ideal for controlling the position of the flow line and balancing part filling on large, multi-gated parts or long, thin parts where finish and part strength are critical.

The sequencer positions the weld line during sequential filling, eliminates weld lines during cascade filling and mechanically balances the flow of melt into the cavities of family molds. It operates the valve gate based on screw position, time or other variables. The sequencer can be integrated with the Altanium Matrix5 or Altanium Delta5 or interface with them as a stand-alone unit.

The Altanium Neo5, Altanium Delta5 and Altanium Matrix5 have high-definition, color touch-screen monitors measuring 10.5 inches, 15.6 inches and 22 inches, respectively.

ORYCON TARGETS CLEAN ROOMS

The Orycon 985 hot-runner controller/Orycon Control Technology Inc.

Orycon introduced its Orycon 985 hot-runner controller for clean rooms. The unit, which replaces the Orycon 980, time-stamps and collects all set points and data relating to conditions in each of up to 12 zones.

Every five minutes for up to 72 hours, the unit records the temperature, alarm condition, amperage draw and percentage of power used in each temperature zone, President Sal Benenati said. Data stored in the new internal database can be accessed via a standard USB port and displayed on a remote device such as a laptop, desktop computer or tablet. By recording data related to set points and operating conditions, the controller allows for 100 percent traceability. A user can retrieve set-point information stored in the controller memory and duplicate the operating conditions when the mold is moved from one press to another, Benenati said.

The Orycon 985 controller has no fans, which makes it suitable for clean-room operation. The housing is easy to wipe clean. It features a display window with an extensive menu of commands and settings.

Each control module can use optional software algorithms from Orycon that bring additional control to auxiliary functions, alarm types and diagnostics. The Orycon 985 uses fuzzy logic software to maintain hot-runner temperatures to within 1 degree Fahrenheit of set point, Benenati said.

ATHENA ROLLS OUT CONTROLLER FOR RUNNERLESS MOLDING

Athena introduced its Series RMX, a modular, microprocessor-based, hot-runner temperature controller specifically for runnerless molding.

Series RMX modular, microprocessor-based, hot-runner temperature controller/Athena Controls Inc.

The RMX is fully self-tuning and has an easy-to-use LCD touch screen for simultaneous process and set-point displays. It also provides indicators about heat output, alarm status and operating mode (manual or closed-loop), said Wayne Hayward, director of marketing.

The single-zone controller features CompuStep, a function that removes moisture from the heater before full heater power is applied. The CompuCycle function improves the unit’s response time, reducing thermal fatigue and prolonging heater life by applying power smoothly and continuously. The SafeChange feature allows for the safe removal and replacement of temperature-control modules, Hayward said.

The unit accepts Type J or K thermocouples and has built-in protection for loop-break, open- or reverse-thermocouple conditions. It also has ground-fault protection and an electrical-current monitoring feature that displays the average output current-to-load ratio, Hayward said.

Athena also introduced the Bedros II. The compact, large-zone controller handles up to 192 zones with 15 amps per zone, he said. Users can group zones together, allowing them to easily change a process parameter for an entire group.

Bedros II follows the first Bedros model, which was introduced six years ago and provides up to 64 zones of control, Hayward said.

The controller has a 15-inch, color touch-screen interface with the company’s new Maestro Plus software that allows users to quickly set up processes, store recipes and establish communication with an external network to transmit data.

The controller is able to operate in ambient temperatures from 32 degrees to 122 degrees Fahrenheit, with accuracy to within 1 degree Fahrenheit.

INCOE CONTROLLER HANDLES UP TO 96 ZONES

Incoe’s I-Series Pro hot-runner temperature controller/Incoe Corp.

Incoe introduced the I-Series Pro hot-runner temperature controller with enhanced PID control logic to provide accurate and repeatable operation. The unit handles 12 to 96 temperature zones, business development manager Jim Bott said.

The integrated microprocessor-based temperature controller uses a control card that operates two zones; it’s compact, even with 48 cards installed to control 96 zones, he said.

I-Series features a program that heats the manifold and nozzle at the same rate. A soft-start mode supports uniform temperature control at startup and can be adjusted by time or percentage of power output. Users can operate the device in manual or automatic modes, and can choose among three display formats (text, graph or digital).

The unit has enhanced features that make maintenance easier, including a system used to test the wiring of the hot runner, the thermocouple or the heater. Mold setups can be stored internally or externally through a USB connection, Bott said.

MOLD-MASTERS UPS CAPABILITY OF TEMPMASTER CONTROLLER

Mold-Masters has launched the latest version of its TempMaster temperature controller. The TempMaster M2+ features a larger, 17-inch touch-screen interface. Compared to previous versions, it processes data five times faster, allowing the display to update in real time and making possible instantaneous response to touch inputs. It also is more intuitive to use, with updated and enlarged icons that are easier to identify. In addition, graphs and data values are cleaner and easier to read.

All TempMaster controllers feature Mold-Masters’ APS, or Adaptive Process System, auto-tuning algorithm. It continuously monitors, predicts and adapts to a range of variables to maintain zone temperatures to within 1 degree Fahrenheit of set point.

Mikell Knights, senior staff reporter

mknights@plasticsmachinerymagazine.com

Contact:

Athena Controls Inc.,
Plymouth Meeting, Pa., 610-828-2490, 
www.athenacontrols.com

Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd.,

Bolton, Ontario, 905-951-5000,
www.husky.ca

Incoe Corp.,

Auburn Hills, Mich., 248-616-0220,
www.incoe.com

Mold-Masters Ltd.,
Georgetown, Ontario, 905-877-0185, 
www.moldmasters.com

Orycon Control Technology Inc.,

Ocean, N.J., 732-922-2400,
www.orycon.com