Self-Cleaning Mold for PET Preform Production
Seconds instead of Hours
Clean molds at the push of a button: A procedure that frequently takes several hours is now claimed to be possible within seconds, thereby considerably extending the inevitable maintenance intervals. At least that is how Husky Injection Molding Systems in Bolton, Ontario/Canada introduced a self-cleaning technology for injection molds at the NPE 2015. The new cleaning function is part of a package solution for the HyPET HPP5 preform production system, enabling it to operate for half a million cycles without downtimes for cleaning and greasing.
The announcement is all the more astounding, as one would expect higher mold maintenance costs and a shorter service life in view of the increasingly shorter cycle times. This apparent contradiction is overcome by the HyPET HPP5 system: According to the manufacturer, mold self-cleaning can eliminate up to 400 hours of maintenance work per year, which translates into a 5 % increase of production time. The fully automated self-cleaning cycle is started at the push of a button, whereby the dust accumulated at the vents is collected and removed without the operator having to work in or on the machine. Cleaning can be performed as often as necessary, as production continues practically without downtime.
Moreover, the equipment shown at the NPE was fitted with Husky’s mold alignment system. Six sensors compare the positions of the two mold platens, i. e. it is a realtime 3-D alignment measurement, with the results individually displayed on the HMI for every cycle. If misalignment occurs, the HMI provides specific instructions to resolve it. This enables the operator to re-align the mold with a resolution of a few microns, before the offset can cause excessive wear and impact product quality.
The machine demonstrated at the NPE produced lightweight preforms (part weight: 10.89 g) for carbonated water using a 96-cavity mold with a 5.5-second cycle time. With this application, HyPET HPP5 is some 50 % faster than the industry average, says Husky.
Translated from Kunststoffe 6/2015, p. 13.
Husky Injection Molding Systems S.A.
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