When the number of product changes and because of that mold set-ups increases, the utilization time of the machine decreases. Mold changeovers can be extremely time-consuming. To increase efficiency and of course productivity, fast mold exchange systems are the solution. It helps avoid the negative impact that multiple mold changeovers have on productivity and the resulting increase in component costs.
Semi-automated mold change
Mold changing can be equipped with automation, which accelerates process. A simple and comparatively cost-effective measure for optimizing mold changes is a menu-driven set-up. The software module guides the machine operator interactively through the procedure; the program steps are processed automatically where possible. Manual steps must be confirmed in the control software. Procedural errors are therefore ruled out. The procedure can be run beforehand as an offline computer simulation on a virtual machine and then transferred to the production machine for the actual set-up. Optionally, a pre-heating unit, standardized media couplings and high-speed mounting systems can be used and integrated into the software module checklist.
Fully automated mold change
The molds are placed in or removed from the machines by mold tables that are either mounted on the machine or travel between one or more machines and the mold storage station, no operating personnel is needed. The tables pass through several stations that can optionally be set up as pre-heating stations. The significant benefit is the high level of consistency of the integrated systems. The mold changing system is equipped with the control unit of the injection molding machine. It has the same control logic, visualization and ergonomics, which simplifies use and allows for the automatic transfer of data between the machine, mold changing table and pre-heating station. External interfaces are not necessary. The graphical animation of the mold changing system can be called up at both the table and the machine so that the operator can get an overview of the current statuses of the system at any time. The fully automated system makes it possible to change the mold in less than a minute. Mold changes can be programmed to start after reaching a certain number of parts and once the mold change is complete production can be programmed to start automatically.