MoldMaking Technology: Temperature Control Boosts Hot Runner Productivity, Eliminates Burned Parts

Precise control over hot runner temperatures was the key to ending a problem with burned parts that plagued a particular job being run by custom molder American Plastic Molding Corporation (APM; Scottsburg, IN)—enabling the company to increase output of saleable product by 10 to 15 percent. Mold manufacturers that install a quality temperature control on a hot runner system not only lengthen a mold’s life, but they help improve part quality—making both management and customers happy. Read more here…

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Fast Heat’s New Newsletter,

The Indicator, Is Hot Off The Press!

Welcome to the first issue of The Indicator: A Quarterly Newsletter from Fast Heat for Plastics Manufacturers. Since 1957, Fast Heat has served the plastic injection molding industry.Throughout the years, we’ve grown our technical knowledge and have succeeded in helping our customers manufacture high quality parts and components while using difficult materials. We want to help you, too. This newsletter will highlight what we are seeing in the industry, the challenges manufacturers are facing and some of our customers’ success stories. Then, get to know us better by visiting us on the web.

Happy reading!

Indicators of Success
Process Improvement

Customer Challenge:
New Tool Start-Up, Tight Deadline, Line Down Situation

The customer was launching  a new program and was having technical issues during start-up. They experienced flashing and could not produce quality parts. Many vendors were called in to provide technical support. Unable to diagnose the problem, the customer contacted Fast Heat. Customer’s lines were down for a few days–costing thousands of dollars.

Solution: Manny represented Fast Heat’s Pulse-Series Hot Runner Temperature Controller. Working closely with our customer, Manny ran his diagnostics and determined that either a shorted heater or pinched wire had caused the heater’s thermocouples to fail.

Tip: A faulty thermocouple can give the hot runner temperature controller a higher than normal (false) temperature reading.

Upon checking the ohm values on the thermocouple pins, we confirmed thermocouples needed to be replaced.

1. Power down the Hot Runner Temperature Controller

2. Unplug the thermocouple cable at the back of the controller.

3. Your meter should read ohms on the working thermocouples. Replace any thermocouples reading Mohms or Kohms.

 

Following these steps will confirm the thermocouple cable, mold box, and thermocouple are functioning properly.

Fast Heat’s Customer Support Manager, Manny Diaz, has more than 20 years of experience troubleshooting our customers’ greatest challenges and pain points. He can help with yours, too. Call or email Manny today!

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Advanced Temperature Control Enables Custom Molder to Boost Hot Runner Productivity and End Problem of Burned Parts

Within Two Hours after Installing Fast Heat’s Ion Temperature Controller, American Plastic Molding Reduced Hot Runner Temperatures by 70 ºF without Gate Freeze-Off

SCOTTSBURG, INDIANA, U.S.A., July 24, 2012: Precise control over hot runner temperatures was the key to ending a problem with burned parts that plagued a particular job being run by custom molder American Plastic Molding Corporation (APM), enabling the company to increase output of saleable product by 10 to 15%.

The part discoloration caused by burning stopped almost immediately after connecting an Ion Series temperature controller from Fast Heat Inc. to a 16-cavity hot runner system that was producing 30% glass-filled nylon 6.6 parts for a Tier 1 supplier to the automotive industry, according to Alan Myers, APM plant manager. Within two hours after installing the controller, APM had fine-tuned the system to the point where temperatures were reduced by nearly 70 ºF.

“Before we installed the Fast Heat controller, we were unable to reduce the temperature without having gates freeze,” said Myers, “but within the first couple of hours, it became a question of ‘How low can the temperature go?’ We soon established a new temperature range of 430 to 440 ºF. The lower temperatures increased our output of good parts by 10 to 15% and eliminated the labor involved in sorting out parts that were burned.”

Fast Heat’s Ion Series controller has also increased productivity in other ways, according to Myers. In startups it quickly tunes the system to the new set of molding parameters. And in the event of a zone shutdown caused, for example, by a heater failure, the controller automatically slaves the affected cavity to another cavity, running two cavities from the thermocouple in the unaffected one.

“In the past, when a zone shut down, we would end up producing from 15 cavities instead of 16, making that much less product during the typical three-day turnaround needed to replace the defective unit,” said Myers.

Family-owned and -operated since it was founded in 1971, APM is a full-service custom molder that provides extensive engineering services and stages free quarterly seminars on design and engineering for customers and prospects. The company has 38 injection molding machines, an assembly facility with lean manufacturing cells, an on-site mold shop, and a 60,000 sq.ft. (5,575 sq,m) warehouse. It provides full engineering services and offers customers supply chain sourcing and management, warehousing, and distribution. Employing 120 people, APM serves customers in a wide range of end use industries.

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AMERICAN PLASTIC MOLDING CORP. (APM) is headquartered at 965 South Elm Street. Scottsburg, IN 47170-2173. Tel: 1-812-752-7000. Email: sales@apmc.com. Visit www.apmc.com.

FAST HEAT INC. innovates technology for the plastics industry. Founded in 1957, Fast Heat’s core competency in hot runner temperature controllers has translated into customized solutions and high-touch service for its manufacturing customers. Breakthrough sensor devices and specialized appliances improve plant productivity and elevate part quality, while driving efficiency. In addition to its world-headquarters in Elmhurst, Illinois, U.S.A., Fast Heat operates fully equipped manufacturing and sales facilities in the United Kingdom, France and Singapore and maintains a worldwide network of agents for its products. Visit www.fastheat.com.

Posted in News

Rebuilding American Manufacturing

White House working group convenes at MIT to examine how new technologies can create economic growth and more jobs in the United States.

Link to Story…

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Fast Heat to Exhibit at NPE 2012

Save the date for the biggest plastics industry trade show in the world: NPE 2012 in Orlando, Florida, April 1-5.

When you’re there, stop by the Fast Heat Booth, #3535, to see our newest—and most exciting—technologies for the industry, yet!

For more information on NPE 2012, visit www.npe.org.

Posted in Events
Find out how Fast Heat can help you manage your temperature with our custom hot runner temperature controllers—and find cost savings!
Call 630-359-6300 / 877-747-8575 or email info@fastheat.com today!