New Mold Monitoring System Promises Fast Processing Speeds and High Resolution
Comet Plastic Equipment is introducing its new PE-600 mold-monitoring system—what it calls the industry’s first mold-protection device to use full-color high-resolution digital image processing technology. In addition to a display in its booth, the PE-600 can be seen in action monitoring both a micro molding tool and a fast-cycling high-cavitation medical mold running in Sumitomo (SHI) Demag’s booth.
The PE-600 mold-monitoring system’s processing speed (0.012 sec)—60% faster than its predecessor—allows it to protect molds even in ultra-high-speed applications with sub-2-second molding cycles. Image resolution has been more than doubled from 800 by 480 pixels to 1920 by 1080 pixels. Comet President Tom Rajkovich says full-color digital processing reduces errors caused by outside light, reflections from the shiny mold surface, shadows on the mold, and residue, improving overall detection.
Above and beyond ejection-error detection, the PE-600 can also monitor the positions of the slide core, insert loading errors and broken pins. Automatic compensation for position—mold opening stop position—is a standard feature, and for ejection errors, the user can pre-select the number of ejection strokes to be performed until the part is successfully ejected prior to stopping the machine and activating an alarm.
In addition to preventing mold damage or unnecessary machine shutdown and supporting lights-out operation, Comet says this helps reduce the number of ejector strokes required, decreasing ejector pin wear.
The PE-600 features a 10.4-in., high-resolution, SVGA full-color LCD touch screen for easy viewing and control, including setting of parameters. The entire unit weighs just 3 lb, allowing for hand-held operations, including entering settings while standing in front of the mold. The control features a selectable automatic setup program allowing precise monitoring of selected areas of the mold. When a problem occurs, a database stores the inspection data and mold images for later review. Mold setup information and the inspection database, with images, can be stored on a standard USB flash drive for remote review on a PC.
In terms of added options, the PE-600 can be used with a second optional camera, and instead of a standard lens, optional wide angle and zoom lenses are available. Comet notes that in a family mold, for instance, a standard lens can be focused on the larger parts, while a zoom lens focuses on the smaller or even micro-sized parts. For very large mold surfaces, either two cameras or a single camera with a wide-angle lens can be used. Optional LED and halogen lighting sets are available for high-intensity lighting, as is infrared lighting, which can reduce ambient lighting impact.
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