The most important parameter in injection molding is temperature.
Everyone knows that it is only possible to produce parts with a constant quality if the injection molding process has reached its thermal equilibrium.
IR-ThermalSystem (IRTS) allows you to see the injection molding process with different eyes since it provides a thermal image of the part and a thermal fingerprint of the mold.
During set up
Several things need to be checked if a new mold is put on a machine. At the beginning, it is important to know the cooling channels are connected correctly.
Then, we want to understand how fast the mold reacts on temperature changes of the melt or the coolant.
This is important to understand in order to see how long it will take for the mold to reach its thermal equilibrium after changes in the process.
Moreover, with IR-ThermalSystem, hot spots can be identified, which might influence the cycle time. And if a hot runner system is used in the mold, it is possible to check how well the hot runner is insulated against the mold.
Another important point is to see the current ejection temperature of the part.
This temperature is a result of melt temperature and total cooling time.
With this knowledge, you can set the shortest possible cooling time.
At the end of the mold set up, the last recorded values, as well as the according XY-plot is summed up with customer name, mold number, etc., in a single PDF file in order to have a proper documentation.
A stable process ensures a constant product quality. To ensure a stable process machine parameters are controlled, as well as parameters of attached peripheral devices. This is good and ensures that the machines do their job.
However, the influence of these parameters and possible changes within given limits can not be determined for the produced part.
IR-ThermalSystem becomes the final controlling authority in the production process because it takes a look to the part before it is ejected. If the temperature on the part is stable, the part quality is stable.
Using IR-ThermalSystem inline in the injection molding process helps to identify short shot or flashing. One can even detect sink marks on a part and blocked cooling channels. The later is very important if conformal cooling is used.
Based on upper or lower limits that are set, warnings will be issued by the system. Information via e-mails as well as direct signals to the injection molding machine or robots are possible.
One of the values of IR-ThermalSystem is its great flexibility. This allows the user also to take a look to the cooling behavior of a plastic part over time.
Doing this, the cause of warpage can be found very often in hot sections that are still present inside of the part after ejection.
Or think of a two component mold. IR-ThermalSystem can check if the first component has cooled down accordingly or if it will distribute energy into the second component causing surface defects.
Last but not least, IR-ThermalSystem is used to take a look to the surrounding of the injection molding machine. Here it is possible to identify hot spots on electronic devices and help in terms of predictive maintenance.
IR-ThermalSystem works with a great selection of infrared cameras.
The robust IR cameras run with a frame rate between 50Hz and 80Hz. Resolutions are available from 80x80pixel up to 640x480pixel. For each camera model one can select out of four different optics.
• Measurements can take place in the temperature range:
–20 °C … 100 °C (–4 … 212 °F) or
0 °C … 250 °C (32 … 482 °F) or
150 °C … 900 °C (302 °F … 1652 °F).
• System accuracy (at ambient temperature 23 ± 5°C [73.4 ±41 °F]) is ±2 °C or ±2 % (±4 °F or ±2 %) – whichever is greater.
• Power supply and communication is done via USB-2.
The two product lines, Xi – Compact line and PI – Precision line, offer their specific advantages.
One major difference is that the Xi line offers a motor zoom while for the PI line, the lens needs to be rotated by hand to focus.
On the other hand, it is possible to exchange the optics for the PI line to have more flexibility in the field of view while using this camera type.
The variety of cameras, with different resolutions and different optics, ensures that the best combination is available for your needs.
Just contact us and let us discuss about how IR-ThermalSytem will support your next project.
Dedicated to the injection molding process, IR-ThermalSystem is a handy helper during set up of a mold as well as in the constant control of the injection molding process.