INJECTION MOLDING: Engel Launches New Version Of IQ Weight Control Software

iQ weight control is available for all Engel machines with electric injection units.

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During the 2015 Engel Symposium, the company showcased new functions of its iQ weight control software. In addition to the switchover point and the injection speed profile, the holding pressure can also be automatically readjusted during the running process.

The iQ weight control software makes it possible to automatically recognize deviations and compensate for them in the same shot. Engel says that rejects are then reduced while productivity can be increased.

To achieve this, the software breakdown the pressure profile at the screw position in real time during the injection process and compares the measured values with a reference cycle online. Based on these results, the switchover point and the injection profile are adapted to the current conditions, which keep the injected volume constant during the entire production run. The effects of fluctuations in viscosity on the filling of the mold, especially in applications with switchover points that depend on the injection pressure, can also be compensated.

The new version of the software goes one step further. The automatic holding pressure correction now makes it possible to compensate for fluctuations in viscosity even after the injection phase has been completed by adjusting the holding pressure profile.

The new feature opens up a wider range of applications for iQ weight control. While the automatic readjustment of the injection parameters increases weight consistency, especially in the fabrication of thin-walled components, it is the holding pressure phase that has a crucial impact on quality in the production of thick-walled parts.

During its symposium, Engel demonstrated the potential of the upgraded software in the production of housing parts for medical use made of polypropylene on an all-electric Engel e-motion 170/110 T injection molding machine. Adding small amounts of a material that flows more easily (wax) simulates realistic fluctuations in viscosity. Without corrections to the holding pressure, the weight of the components increases with sinking viscosity by up to 0.29g. This corresponds to almost 1% of the component weight and leads to unacceptable deviations. However, when the automatic holding pressure correction is activated, the component weight remains consistently within the tolerances with fluctuations of 0.07g, and no rejects are produced.

iQ weight control is available for all Engel machines with electric injection units. The software does not require any additional hardware as it integrated into the CC300 control unit of the injection molding machines.