Injection Molding in 2020

For the First Time - Fully Automatic Analysis of Tool Conditions During Production
May 29, 2020 by

Fully Automatic Analysis of Tool Conditions During Production

QASS is your reliable partner for highest-level quality requirements and service when it comes to production monitoring. Since 2001 we deliver our measuring technology to customers all over the world, particularly when safety relevant components for passenger transport are concerned. Continuous development of our capabilities is a top priority for us and represents the origin of one of our latest innovations in the field of plastic injection molding.

Injection molding tools are usually very complex and expensive. Given the high number of shots, the tools are subject to dirt and wear. That is why a regular cleaning and maintenance is necessary. The maintenance intervals are often based on experience. However, if an injection molding tool no longer works properly in the time between two maintenance operations and produces defective parts, this is often only detected too late by faulty batches or a total failure of the tool. Consequently, the most expensive maintenance case occurs.

To avoid total failure or faulty batches, predictive and preventive maintenance is advisable, as it increases tool reliability and improves productivity. QASS and structure-borne sound are two partners that provide a solution to this issue: Structure-borne sound sensors are mounted on the tools when they are not in use. With these sensors it is possible to capture an image of the production process resolved in milliseconds. Injection phase, cooling phase, every slide movement, even air outlets can be monitored precisely and detailed in this way. The software determines fully automatically the different cycles in the tool. As the time sequence is always the same during injection molding, we are able to identify deviations from the optimum conditions in each production step. It is thus also possible to detect gradual wear processes and to carry out micro-maintenance operations, such as greasing a slider, to extend tool life and to prevent larger, more expensive repairs. As a result, our customers have been able to double their tools’ service life, since the maximum number of shots that was based on experience was smaller prior to the application of our measuring technology.

For tool monitoring during plastic injection molding, we use our proven pattern recognition methods. The production process features characteristic signals, whose chronology can be matched to the sequence of the tool movements. The signal properties are extracted and evaluated with statistical and mathematical methods. The user interface is adaptable to your needs and is divided into two levels. On the one hand, the measuring data is visualized. This data forms the basis for all analysis chains of our pattern recognition method. On the other hand, all other elements of the interface are customizable, and you can design them as you wish (e. g., tools, corporate design).

Well-known manufacturers, such as the household appliance manufacturer Vorwerk, use our concept since many years. Through intensive monitoring of their tools with our measuring technology, they were able to reduce the number of interval-based, condition-independent maintenance operations by 50 percent. QASS provides methods for consistent industrial automation in plastic injection molding and continues to refine them even further.

Preview of the new standard interface design of our measuring system Optimizer4D – with customizable elements. The element called “Spectral Data” visualizes the in-depth analysis of the measured signals. These are evaluated using statistical and mathematical methods and assessed by comparison across the entire range of components produced. We monitor for the emergence of sporadic signal anomalies. With precise information about what happens inside the tool, it is possible to assign each signal curve to a specific operation or movement in the injection molding process.

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