An important step in the molding process is preparing the mold for optimal functionality. Every plastic injection mold is unique and requires a tailored set-up strategy. There are several important steps to take prior to beginning the molding process development phase. These include setting up and checking the functionality of the following:
- Molding machine
- Injection unit
- Core pull
- Any other mold- or machine-related movements.
Mold movements will be set up to initiate the molding process development. But fine tuning the mold movements will be optimized during actual process development. Having the initial functionality set allows the process technician to focus on other actual molding process development tasks. Functionality of the peripheral devices, such as the mold temperature controller, chiller, conveyor belt and robot should also be checked prior to starting the process development.
Most modern molding machines have process output screens and graphics to aid the process engineer during process development. The most important graphical outputs are machine injection pressure, cavity pressures, clamp tonnage, screw velocity graphs, and the process time sequence report. Watch the video to learn more:
Recording pressure and temperature curves during the molding, understanding the mold drawings, and setting the clamp tonnage are other critical steps in preparing the mold for optimal functionality.
For an in-depth process development strategy you can review our process development lessons.