Often overlooked by many moulders, the efficiency of the mould cooling circuit(s) is critical to a stable process and for the manufacturing of high-quality parts. It is important to be able to identify cooling problems such as blocked waterways, scale and rust build-up, incorrect piping and decreased water flow from the mould heater.
Injection moulders often use a range of methods for distributing and controlling the water flow around the cooling circuits. And traditionally the most common method has been water flow regulators. These are cost-effective but suffer from several inherent problems as highlighted below:
- They are delicate in nature and might break if not handled carefully. As a result, they should be mounted far away from the mould.
- They do not give a true reading of flow, and the sight glasses might sometime become unreadable due to oxidation.
- They do not provide information relating to the cycle time, which is critical in reducing waste, optimizing production and thus saving energy.
The Grundfos Solution
The Mouldflo system will digitally monitor all the flow circuits within the mould, and record data for both flow and temperature for every circuit.
The complicated and delicate cooling channels require intelligent cooling regulation, and each cooling channel should have individual flow setting to optimize the heat transfer.
With Mouldflo installed on the injection moulding machine, operators and engineers can monitor the flow, temperature and pressure within the cooling circuits and the system can trigger an alarm if any of these parameters deviate outside of the limits.
The manifold inlet and outlet pressure sensors are used to validate the cooling circuit’s setup and will identify pressure loss through the mould.
The Grundfos Direct Sensors™ inside the Mouldflo system can measure flow, temperature (up to 120°C) and pressure, and digitally transfer this data, which helps engineers and operators identify and predict an acceptable maintenance schedule.
By setting the flow and temperatures individually for each cooling channel you will get a better moulding process with shortest possible cycle time, product consistency and lower energy-use.
And by analyzing the recorded information from the sensors, the user can easily see when the channels are becoming blocked or require descaling.
The overall result is a clear increase in energy efficiency and in the quality of the products produced by the injection moulder.