Alfanar Engineering team has been using Moldex3D for plastic flow simulation, validation and optimization for component design, mould design and IM process optimization for more than 5 years. As a consequence, Moldex3D, product design and development cycle are now closely related. Flow simulation is done from the very beginning of the product design and followed by mold design and process optimization.
The eternal quest for better quality, performance and profit has made design optimization an indispensible aspect. However, the complicated factors of plastic injection molding process make it more difficult to get accurate, effective and profitable product development process right the first time.
In this story, you’ll see not only a successful case result relied on Moldex3D simulation capabilities, but also the core competence of Alfanar Engineering which accumulated from the solid implementation experience through the years.
The case we presented here is a housing cover, a critical component in switch assembly with demanding tolerance at all fitment areas. Akulon K222 KMV5, and 2-cavity, 2-plate, hot tip, cold runner mold are used.
Given the warpage issue, a preliminary filling analysis was carried to check how effective the gate location was. The simulation results showed that the gate location seemed optimal for the geometry, but the flow hesitation and the Z-directional displacement of approx. 0.6mm were unacceptable.
When encountering a situation like this, the design team might apply different approaches, such as changing the part design, mold design and the process parameter. However, an accurate simulation is the most desired and cost-effective solution to verify what can be improved in advance without causing unwanted iterations. With the past experiences in developing this kind of components with Moldex3D verification, Alfanar Engineering team realized that the adjustment of partial thickness could bring encouraging enhancements. However, how much to add or how much to remove remained unanswered. Various possible combinations were examined with the help of Moldex3D simulation, and finally an optimized design was born and proven to meet the demands – the flow hesitation issue was solved, and the value of Z-directional warpage was 0.4mm (around 33% improvement). No other significant quality problems showed up.
Besides the above stated efforts, Rapid Prototyping (RP) was also used for further verification. After the design was released for mold manufacturing, Alfanar Engineering team kept working on the complete Flow/Pack/Cool/Warpage analysis to see if there’s any opportunity to optimize the feeding system, cooling layout and process parameters. The extra work ensures the final Z-directional warpage to 0.38mm.
For the real injected part which was measured afterwards – the warpage along the Z-direction is around 0.35mm, very close to Moldex3D results. High Accuracy – the most important core value of Moldex3D, has been successfully delivered and won the credit.
Simulation-driven product development is widely-agreed for its power to create both effectiveness and efficiency – not only from saving unnecessary trials, but also obtaining the know-why and know-how in advance. The limited resources such as time and cost can well be allocated to building “domain knowledge properties” — which is priceless. Again, Moldex3D delivers and builds competitiveness along with users.
We have received continual dependable service and support from Moldex3D services team with a systematic research based approach and quick response mechanism to help solve complicated cases. Over the years it has been a highly satisfying and enduring partnership with lots of learning on both sides, leading to a better understanding of an ever changing, highly demanding area of product development, the quality molding of plastics