Here are just three ways that computers and software are helping mold makers improve production in their own shops and for their customers.
Toolmaker Arrk Canada Inc. developed its own proprietary software, Arrk Software Automation Process (ASAP), to coordinate each step of mold production from design to pur- chasing to timing for the steel or aluminum block's progress through the shop. Communication is improved because the entire firm uses the same information from a central file, which cuts production time and costs. The result: a 25 percent reduction in mold build hours and delivery to the customer.
RJG Inc. has coordinated data from a variety of sources into a single process that dramatically reduces mold tryout time. The system takes operations data from the injection press including capacity, barrel sizes and desired injection speed and combines it with detailed information about the resin, along with mold-flow analysis and digital tool design to create a mold specifically for that press and that resin and those operating requirements.
By using all the information in a digital mockup, before the mold maker even cuts the steel, the variables are reduced when it comes time to put the actual tool in the actual press. In one case, a molder needed only five shots to hit full production requirements on a new part.
ToolingDocs' MoldTrax software makes it easier for mold-repair and maintenance staff to record repairs or cleaning of a specific mold, and track the information through standardized forms. That system also provides real-world data on the wear and tear of molds on the shop floor.
If a company running a multicavity mold, for instance, is aware of a problem that consistently requires the press operator to slow cycle speed, the mold maker can use that information to adjust future tools through gating, hot runners or other techniques, so the problem does not occur again. ToolingDocs is part of Progressive Components Inc.
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