Firms feature enhancements in mold management
During NPE2018, companies introduced mold components that aid in alignment and allow for efficient cooling alternatives to conformal cooling. They also displayed advances in products for mold management, monitoring and maintenance.
Progressive Components introduced new cooling components, including jumper baffles that enable mold designers to route water through interconnected baffles; reverse-flow baffles that route cooling lines through crowded areas; and new cascades that allow easy installation of stainless-steel cascade tubes.
“Mold designers always are battling space,” Progressive Components President Glenn Starkey said. “They’re always battling trying to get water lines into areas. Usually something is in the way, so it just is an infinite dilemma, it’s a common dilemma for mold designers. We came up with a couple of neat little trick components that allow mold designers to sneak in cooling where it would not have been possible or too cumbersome or expensive in the past.” With these tools, molders can confront especially vexing challenges, routing water through lifters, around lifter heads and through inserts.
Starkey said this is not a knock against conformal cooling, but in his company’s experience, “a mold builder would rather plow in a 7/16ths-diameter water line, a molder would rather clean that 7/16ths water line, and a mold buyer would rather pay for that 7/16ths water line.” The parts make that possible.
“This componentry allows very easy machining,” he said. “Again, not taking the place of conformal cooling, but just making it easily available for someone to get cooling in.” This includes the reverse-flow baffles, cascades and jumper baffles.
“The brass items are newly introduced, and it’s just a new way, some new tricks for someone to have in their bag for sneaking water in,” he said.
In addition, Progressive introduced new inch blade ejectors with sizes beginning at 0.015-inch blade thickness. They are manufactured from wear-resistant 01 tool steel and hardened throughout to eliminate chipping. The company now offers over 60 sizes for ejector pins with increased core hardness to 48-50 HRC.
The company’s latest medical tooling components include tapered date stamps made from 420 stainless steel to prevent flash with LSR or nylon. The company also has introduced stainless-steel support pillars and guided support pillars.
The company also introduced updates to its CVe Monitor, marketed as v3, which now displays mold temperatures and icons to signal when preventive maintenance is due. Deviations in cycle time or operational efficiency trigger alarms.
As part of CVe Monitor v3, Progressive Components also released new options for maintenance. For example, it offers an option for tracking the maintenance of molds, primary equipment and auxiliaries. The upgrades also allow for the owner of the molds to monitor mold temperature from afar.
“The concept is that the owner of the molds could be located in Detroit, for example, and can have molding going on in Pennsylvania and Mexico, and the one who is responsible for the molds can see a master tooling activity dashboard from their PC or phone,” Starkey said. “We have now added more capability for preventive maintenance for molds and molding presses. Also, a full-blown live mold-monitoring system might be too big of an initial step when one primarily wants to track assets and maintenance, so for that we offer Profile, a free online database for tools, with an optional add-on module for maintenance tracking.”
PCS showcased its ProLifter, a 3-D ball lifter. PCS designed the lifter to allow free movement in all directions. It is self-aligning, allowing for a lot more leeway in the motion with an ability to “float” and not bind up, officials said during a press conference at NPE2018.
They emphasized the simplicity to design and install the ball lifter into a mold. The lifter floats into position and will maintain precision gate close-offs. Because it is modular, the ProLifter allows mold designers to work with many combinations of rods, with or without cooling. The bars can be machined to an infinite number of size combinations.
Available in a bar or rod option, the lifter is constructed from H13 tool steel or equivalent with a hardness of 38-42 HRC. The patent for the ProLifter’s ball adapter is pending, officials said. The ProLifter’s guide shoe is made from D2 tool steel or an equivalent with a hardness of 58-62 HRC.
“ProLifter saves time and money due to the ease of installation and product longevity,” product manager John Harding. “Our real-world field testing indicated little wear and no binding, proving out the durability and long product life of the ProLifter.”
Angie DeRosa, managing editor
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