Akron, Ohio — Two manufacturing engineers at liquid silicone rubber molder PTG Silicones Inc. outlined how using a Kistler data acquisition system on an Arburg molding press helped PTG better understand the LSR process.
The speakers from PTG, Alex Haas, manufacturing engineer, and Todd Hoffmann, manufacturing and automation engineer, gave a case study of a design of experiments for a silicone gasket for a dishwashing machine, during the International Silicone Conference.
PTG uses continuous process monitoring at its plant in Albany, Ind., Hoffmann said. The high-speed data acquisition system shows material usage, process dynamics, and can show issues like wear of check rings.
Hoffmann said you can use traditional measurement tools. “But you can't really understand it unless you have this data,” he said.
PTG uses Kistler technology to measure mold cavity pressure and temperature. That allows the molder to overlay the different measurements throughout the entire cycle, so you can see that is happening. “Once you can overlay everything, you can make sure your process is doing what it's supposed to be doing, and everything works smoothly,” Hoffmann said.
Haas said PTG Silicones engineers don't take design of experiments results as the gospel fact. But they do view DOE has a “good scoping tool” and lets PTG better understand the process and make improvements.
PTG molds the dishwasher gasket on a fully automated Arburg press, using a four-cavity mold, an open nozzle drop and a cold deck. A six-axis robot demolds the parts.