This article was originally published in the “CAE Molding Magazine”.
Richard Yeh, Product Manager at Moldex3D
In the age of Industry 4.0 and IoT (Internet of Things), enterprises need to speed up production for tight delivery time, enhance the elasticity of design changes and capacity allocation, and ensure the product quality by monitoring the whole manufacturing workflow. They also have to accomplish the cyber-physical system under the Digital Twins concept to meet the demands of digitalization.
Moldex3D is equipped with material property analysis, true 3D mesh, and molding machine characterization technology. Also, the molding condition simulation is based on big data and machine learning. Thus, Moldex3D can help injection molding industries realize the visions of “T0 Production” and “Production Monitoring”.
Keys of Smart Molding
A Unified Platform for CAD/CAE
The primary condition of intellectualization is the information integration between software and hardware. In the traditional workflow, CAD and CAE have different operational environments, so defects and distortions tend to occur on the geometric models during file transfer. It will increase the cross-functional communication cost, and the discontinuous data flow can result in information islands.
Originated from academia, Moldex3D has been dedicated to developing the analysis technology with true simulation and accurate prediction capabilities. The accuracy and usability of Moldex3D enable it to obtain a high market share in the European, American, and Asian markets. Moldex3D has been recognized by many top international manufacturers and suppliers and elected as the key molding simulation core by top CAD/CAE/CAM software including Siemens NX, PTC Creo, MSC DigimatRP, and Cimatron.
Designers can conduct runner and cooling channel modeling, specify item properties, and utilize automatic CAE integration in their familiar CAD environment. Then, users can integrate the materials and machines through Moldex3D Smart Design to quickly complete design validation, obtain the optimal designs, and automatically generate analysis reports.
IoT and Production Equipment Integration
IoT technology has driven the development and integration of the data supply chain. Edge Computing is based on the Distributed Computing Environment, in which we can perform real-time analysis around the data source without uploading the data to the cloud system. This method can provide better application performance.
The integration of the data supply chain has connected the data flow between design and manufacturing. Through cloud computing, we can compare the differences between processing precision and design geometry at the mold manufacturing stage. At the mold trial and mass production stage, it can also capture the manufacturing conditions of the production line, and monitor the analysis variables to ensure a stable manufacturing environment and product quality.
Realizing T0 Production and Production Monitoring with Smart Simulation
Realizing T0 Production
Moldex3D provides true simulation and accurate prediction results. When the material characterization, true 3D mesh, mold processing accuracy, and machine property adjustment technologies are well-developed, the virtual simulation results can be consistent with the actual machine conditions.
To achieve worriless production, Moldex3D has developed iSLM (intelligent Simulation Lifecycle Management), which is intelligent IoT calculation technology. With the application of the big data of design and manufacturing, iSLM can provide intelligent simulation conditions, and then export the molding parameters as the first mold-trial conditions through the Manufacturing Execution System (MES). Moldex3D iSLM can meet the concepts of digital twins and cyber-physical integration by finishing the actual manufacturing process at the virtual design stage. Therefore, industries will be able to reduce the time and cost of mold trials and realize smart molding and T0 Production.
Monitoring the Whole Manufacturing Workflow
After the mold trial conditions are stable, we still have to monitor the manufacturing condition variations to ensure the batch production quality. The variation data is provided by IoT and Edge Computing, and the whole manufacturing workflow including the material moisture content, speed, pressure, mold temperature, and hot runner temperature is monitored by Moldex3D iSLM. This method can ensure the manufacturing workflow stability in real-time, and help quickly attain the product traceability when product defects occur, significantly increasing the management and operation efficiency.
The applications of Moldex3D’s smart simulation and IoT technology pushes the molding industry forward to Smart Molding 4.0, and establish a streamlined workflow from design analysis to mold trial and mass production. Through iSLM’s intelligent calculation and unified simulation, designers can overcome cross-platform and cross-functional communication difficulties. Also, instead of using the traditional trial-and-error process, molders can utilize the machine performance correction technology to quickly adjust the molding conditions according to the on-site capacity allocation. Thus, they will be able to monitor the molding workflow, ensure product quality, and establish product traceability.
With more rapid development, flexible response, and strict quality control, Moldex3D’s new-generation intelligent simulation technology can help enterprises create high-efficiency Molding 4.0 factories, meet their needs of digitalization and transformation, and realize the vision of worriless production.