The injection molding tool, manufactured by German molder Kunststoff Helmbrechts AG for an instrument panel on the latest Ford C-Max, represented more than 4,000 man-hours of development and manufacturing time. The mold produces a two-component in-mold-labeling decorated radio/CD panel for the C-Max.
The FN 5128 rotating mold used to produce the 380-millimeter by 250mm by 50mm C-Max panel weighs 10,000 pounds and was the largest KH had produced at the time.
The company has since broken that record with a tool for a similar part on the latest Ford Fiesta. The mold tool comprises two mold quarters assembled together on a 66mm-thick adaptor plate measuring 1,092mm by 696mm by 744mm. It incorporates two straight slide valves, 22 diagonal slide valves with 10 control wedges, and eight buried slide valves. Deformation is controlled by forming four core forms from the panel screw domes.
According to Helmbrechts-based KH, tool design took up to 500 man-hours, while its engineers put in 4,080 hours. Wire- cutting and electric-discharge machines took up 1,706 hours of machine time; the company's Agietron EDM center was occupied for three weeks and used up 400 graphite electrodes.