CHICAGO (Aug. 21, 5:50 p.m. EDT) — As North American molders adapt more difficult processing techniques in search of a competitive edge, they are finding they need more out of their control systems.
Thin walls, two- and three-shot molding, multimaterials and fast cycle times all require more flexibility from existing systems. In response, Gammaflux LP has fine-tuned its line of hot-runner temperature controllers to allow users to make more adjustments.
“They need to pull more and more out of the machine,” Mike Brostedt, market development director for the Sterling, Va.-based company, said at NPE 2006 in Chicago.
The company's TTC line of hot-runner controls, for instance, now can be adjusted by tenths of a degree.
“Molders are finding they need to make just these minor adjustments,” he said.
The new Power Priority control algorithm, meanwhile, targets small, low-mass hot-runner nozzles — some of them smaller than one-quarter-inch in diameter — specifically to improve the output from those nozzles.
For molders seeking to shave time from mold changes, the company's new Mold ID system provides mold identification to the TTC control system automatically, so controllers do not have to key in the information manually, he said.
“If you're already lean, taking even a minute from the mold change can be a big thing,” Brosedt said.
Other upgrades see Gamaflux controllers housed in smaller packages, so they take up less floor space, giving molders more options when they set up manufacturing cells.
“For some people, productivity issues are space issues,” he said.