INDUSTRIAL TRAINING PROJECT: OPTIMIZATION AND REDUCTION OF THE INJECTION MOLDING PROCESS

OBJECTIVE: Industrial training (24 November 2008 – 8 January 2008) is one of the compulsory subjects for the final years students of Bachelor Sc. (Hons) Polymer Technology, UiTM. This subject is one of the important regulations for the students to graduate in this program (Year 2009). The main objectives of this subject are to give the clear view about: i. ii. iii. The operation in a company and the industry of polymer based products. The processing of the polymer materials to be useful products. The machine and equipment that are used in polymer processing. The main goals of this work are to optimizing and reducing the cycle time of the injection molding machine. By changing the parameters of the injection molds, the following objectives need to be achieved:

i. ii.

To optimize the injection molding process to a certain extent without changing the product quality. To reduce the cycle time of the injection molding process toward maximum reduction to increase the quantity of the production but without changing the quality of the products itself.

the reduction of cycle time must be started by changing the parameters of the processing that can adversely affect the quality of the products and the processing itself. cooling time. With the ability to produce the high quality products in a very short times such as strength. orientation and precisions. To meet the demands of the customer. some of the processing parameters need to be changed such as cooling time. manufacturer must run their production in a short time. However. pressure etc to give reduction in the cycle time. the reduction of the processing cycle time is essential to ensure the demand being fulfilled in the time given. Up to 75% polymer based products in this world are made from the injection molding machines. The total cycle time consists of mold movement time. temperatures. Basically. Thus. The accurate planning in the changing of the processing parameters is needed to ensure the effectiveness of the cycle time reduction. injection time and plastication time.INTRODUCTION The usage of injection molding machine in the productions of the polymer based products have being widely spread in every region in this world. holding time. ejection time. but the effect toward the processing and products are more important to ensure the quality and the product’s perfections. . that’s why the manufacturer are choosing the injection molding machines to be the main production machines compared to the others.

although it will increase or decrease. Decompression (additional) to avoid drooling 8. the processing parameters mainly affect the quality. Holding 5. Time • Movement • Ejection • Cooling • Holding • Injection • Plasticization . Nozzle retract (additional) to assist sprue break 9. Injection 3. 6. Nozzle Advance (additional) 2. 3. quantity and safety. 2. Ejection Injection Molding Processing Parameter Generally. 5. The parameters are: 1.METHADOLOGY Injection Molding Process Consist of Mould Close: 1. Mould movement speeds Mould movement Positions/Steps Injection Pressure limit Shot size Shot size Positions/Steps Clamping Force • Projection area • Material • Mould rigidity 7. Mould Open 10. 4. Packing 4. Cooling 7. Plastication/Recovery/Plasticizing 6.

The reducibility of those times is depending on the machine. all the processing time in the Figure 1 above must be reducibility. the calculation of cycle time is following: Cycle Time = 1.5s + T cooling Note that. mould.0s + T cooling + 1.0 1. mould. in the process to reduce the cycle time of injection molding process. Reduction of cycle time Theoretically.0 0.0 s cooling 0.0s + 1.5 s time Screw advanced Nozzle advanced pause Figure 1 Generally. all the times shown above may having some changes due to the different of machine.0 s 1. materials.Cycle Time Cycle time Optional Mould closed mould injection holding pressure cooling time Opened & eject T 1. products design and technician. materials and product design.0 s 0.0s + 0. . The other parameters may include reducing the cycle time such as pressure and temperature.5s = 3.

if the problem of sprue breakage difficulty do not present. The movement of nozzle is essential to assist the sprue break and to avoid the nozzle from increasing the temperature of mould. Some of the parameters for the movement time of mould are movement speed. closed and nozzle retract and advanced and decompression. mould closed and opened. The movements of nozzle have the possibility to be reduced for once in five or ten cycles. The movement time of mould can be reduced depend on the product design and catch system (robot). Quality Control Search for defect(s) Ye s No Part Assembly Reduction of movement time Movement times in the injection molding process are including mould opened. The movement of nozzle and decompression step usually an additional in the process due to the different in machine and materials. The most important is the movement of mould.Change the parameters Test run for about 10 cycles. steps .

If there is no concern about this. The most important consideration will likely be position of the clamp when completely open. Generally. Initially. product design and as a safety purposes. the next slowing point could be when cavity details engage. shot speed. Injection time of molten polymer The main process of the injection molding is the injection of the molten polymers into the mould cavities. This could be most important when running a machine with sprue pickers or other robotic devices that may require precise positioning of the runner or parts for ejection. sometimes to breaking the vacuum pressure formation on the cavity. but the step of movement must be controlled and set depends on the machine. all this parameter can easily being determined by using . the moving platen can be set to move in the highest possible speed to lower the time. For the opening of mould.or position and time. to accomplish this task. In the mould close step. One should generally expect more accurate positioning when using slower speeds. The leader pins are normally the first components to locate into the opposite mold half. injection pressure and time. the machine may slow. One possible slowing position could be at the point the leader pins engages the bushings. Initially. injection steps. the controlled movement of mould only gives some advantages to the product but it also gives advantages to the processing time and the safety of the mould. then speeding up. With some machines. it starts at high speed and then slows down as follows by the machine. Mold opening will at first be relatively slow to separate the mold gently. if the eject position is activated prior to the position at which the clamp is fully open. When the mould closed. mould design and safety. This will ensure the shortest time of movement in the injection process. the steps of movement also important to ensure the quality of the product. or even stop. or when interlocks on the parting line are starting to engage. Some of the parameter that affected the injection process is shot size.

the molten polymer will pass through the gates and fill up the cavities. several steps of injection are advisedly applied to reduce the pressure loses. Moreover. Sufficient cooling time is needed to ensure the quality of the product itself. Other than that. the reduction of injection time and increasing the injection pressure might give some problems such as flashing. The design of the cavities may give the pressure loses while injecting the polymer. the cooling time of the molding is the longest time in the process cycle time.the simulation software. the injection steps can reduce the injection time even on for 0. The time of injection can be reducing by increasing the injection pressure and speed to push the molten into the mould cavities. Besides that. short shot. the holding pressure is applied by several steps that having gradually decreasing of pressure. the temperature of barrel is also the important factors in the injection process. The bigger cushion effect. The temperature of barrel must be suitable to ensure the polymer is homogenized melt and ease the flow in the mould cavities. This steps are depends on the cushion effect (screw diameter and materials cushion) from the screw. The holding pressure means that a lower pressure were applied by the screw to give the packing effects toward the product to ensure the mould is fully fill with the molten and can reduces the problem of shrinkage. time and temperature of the injection process must be accurate to get the best quality product with the lowest cycle time possible. the pressure used to inject the molten into the mould can be reduces to a certain extent and assist reduction of injection time by increasing the injection speed. Theoretically. the controlled of pressure. Holding and Cooling time of the product In the injection molding process. the higher pressure can be applied to the product to . holding pressure time is a part of the cooling time in the process cycle.1sec. jetting and burn marks. Thus. From the Figure 1. When the polymer is homogenize melted. visible wild lines. Basically. So.

wall thickness. mould design and mould temperature. Much severely.give more packing effect. Thus. cooling process is depends on time. mainly increasing the problems of shrinkage and warpage. The designs of mould also important due to the wall thickness and the design of cooling channel play the main role of thermal conductivity of the mould. The time of holding pressure must be adequate to avoid the problems of frozen gate that will stop the entire flow while packing. Problems such as visible weld line and sink marks due to high in shrinkage will give lower quality product. also known as plasticating or recovery is a step that the screw turn back at the initial position after the injection. Some products might have high cooling time due to the thicker parts and having the complex product design. The test run after the reduction of this parameter must be done about 20 to 30 cycle. cooling time will continue till the molding is sufficiently frozen. Other than that. to see the effect of the reduced cooling time. Mainly. this step must not exceed the cooling time of the product to ensure the lowest cycle . but it’s still depends on the mould temperature controller and coolant used. This step usually done in the cooling time range after the holding pressure was given to the molding. This is due to the temperature of mould mainly will raised after several cycle. These make it as the biggest challenge to the engineer in order to reduce the cycle time. the screw was turn to give the shearing effect to assist plasticization and bring the polymer granules forward. the reduction of cooling time might give very big problems to the products quality and perfections. Next. the reduction of cooling time must be done with the short term test and also long term test of quality control. Advisedly. the process of cooling can be speed up maximally. Besides that. With a suitable cooling channel and temperature of coolant. some of these problems only can be seen after two or three days after being injected or also can be a week after processing. Plasticization of Polymer Plasticization.

To ensure the plasticating time is lower than the cooling time. Ejection time of the product Nowadays. long plasticization time was needed to ensure the polymer is fully homogenized. The venting line through the From the figure 1. several factors must be taken into considerations such as RPM of the screw. The shortest distance of the recovery can mainly ensure the shortest time. But. speed and steps. distance and the sprue pick up systems. The screw’s RPM and back pressure mainly ensure the screw will recover in a short time possible. the ejector will push the product slowly in a short distance to ensure the product is partially demoulded from the core or sometime. to reduce those problems. can be some steps. more the cycle time will be reduces. for some types of materials. the decompression or suck back step can be applied to avoid drooling of the molten materials that mainly affected due to the hygroscopic (moisture pickup) properties of the materials. Some of parameter that must be included in the ejection process is distance. With the robotic systems. The steps applied to the ejector are depends on the product. visible ejector mark or breaking the products (demolished product). After the plasticating. the ejection step must be applied in the ejection process. the more speed of ejection. will give higher in stress.time possible. The ejection speed also one of the parameters that affecting the cycle time of injection process. the ejection of the product from the core of the mould must accurately being set into the machine program. Initially. So. manufacturers tend to use robotic system to pick up the products after the ejection from the core of the mould. but it still depends on the shot size of the product. must be remembered that the more speed. the ejection is combined into the mould closed due to the time is very short but . Thus. But. In general. position and back pressure. some of the problems might come out such as stress-whitening. This system can ensure the lowest time of ejection process and the safety workers. to breaking the formation of vacuum in the core of mould.

depends on cavity pressure. Must be high enough to prevent flashing. Aproj and number of cavities.1 .85 x part volume Refer Arburg 6.0kN and may increased to give sufficient pressure to close the mould. too fast may result of some defects e. may increased if the short shot problem appears. Theoretically. Next.ejector pins can helps the breaking of the vacuum by allowing air passed through into the core. =0. The shortest distance is essential to minimize the time required to ejecting the product.: jetting. gradually decrease. Refer ** ** ** ** Clamp force = Aproj x z x pw Shot starting Injection Shot Sizes size Speed Step/Position Depends on the material’s viscosity. the initial speed *** must be low and gradually increase till about 70% mould being filled and then. Depends on the speed. Process Parameter Mould Closed Speed Step/Position Pressure Time Limit Clamp Force Remarks As high as possible to minimize the cycle time.g. Start with the highest speed possible till the guide pins about 5mm to engage the bushing. Start with 85% of the shot sizes. Processing Controls and Parameters. pw. area. The additional of ejection steps might be essential for the product having the longer depth and materials having high brittleness. etc. z. Starting with 5. the ejector will push the product out from the core and the distance of the ejector for ejecting the product is depends on the sprue pick up system or robot. streaks. higher speed will reduce the time.

not too high. to avoid the shear degradation and other defects towards the products. Gradually increasing the speed of screw is essential to ensure the materials were homogenized melted. until the sink mark appears. Depends on the materials used. as back pressure increase. Low as possible to minimized induced stress. Gradually decrease from the injection pressure. plasticating time also increases. Generally. But.3 Refer Arburg 6. Must start with lower values from the manufacturer’s data. the product Refer Arburg 3. For dry pigmented granules.2 Refer Arburg 6.2 *** ** ** Position ** Back Pressure ** Cooling Mould Temperature ** *** . But. If too low.Pressure Time Packing/Hold ing Pressure Time Step Cushion Plasticating RPM Depends on the wall thickness of the products. the initial packing pressure is high and gradually decreases. Depends on the injection volume and the viscosity of the materials. Depends on the machine (about 3 – 10mm) Not too high to reduce the risk of shear degradation towards the materials.1 Refer Arburg 4. The risk of damaging the compound is higher if too high back pressure used. the back pressure must be increased long enough for the color distribution. Depend on the wall thickness.

Distance Depends on the sprue picker or robotic system. Step/Position Initially. Additional to assist sprue breakage and to keep the sprue bush from heated by the nozzle. It can be reduces if the mould temperature controller efficiently reduces the mould temperature. the speed must be increased as high as possible. then. Refer Arburg 6. Speed Start with lower speed (e.2 * * ** ** ** ** ** . slow speed is essential to allow the air move into the cavity to reduce the formation of vacuum. After the product is fully demoulded from the cavity.g: 50mm/s) and increasing until the ejector marks are severely can be seen. Generally. Time Depends on the wall thickness of the products. the distance is twice height of the core.Decompressi on Nozzle Retract Mould Open Ejection will shrink faster and give some difficulty in demoulding process.Additional to avoid the problem of drooling attribute 5mm) by the materials condition. Distance Sufficient enough for the product fall from the core. lowered to reduces those marks . Speed As high as possible to reduce the overall movement time of the mould. Distance (3. Must be check after 20-30 cycle to give the better result.

**To be optimized in trial run.: CadMould) is essentials before trial run. ** * Additional step to avoid certain problem(s). Initially slow ejection speed in a short distance followed by higher speed and higher distance to allow the product falls from the core.g. CHECK LIST FOR THE QUALITY CONTROL OF THE INJECTION MOULD PRODUCTS Product:___________________________________________________________________ Material(s) used: ____________________________________________________________ . ***the used of simulation program (e.Number ejection Step/Position of Essentials in breaking the formation of vacuum.

Flashes 10. 1.Machine: __________________________________________________________________ Parameter __________________________________________________________ Cycle time: _________________________________________________________________ No. Color or Air Streak) 3. of cycle: _________________________________________________________________ changes: Please (X) in the box(s) if there any of those defects are found. 12. 11. Burn Mark(s) 7. _____ Comment(s): _____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ Inspected by: ________________________________ Date: Visible Ejector Marks Deformation while Demoulding Air Traps Other(s):_________________________________________________________ _________________________ . Stress-Whitening 8. Gloss Differences 4. Weld Line 5. Jetting 6. Streaks (Moisture. Sink Mark(s) 2. 13. Incomplete Spray Parts/Short Shot 9.

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