Novi, Mich. — PCS Co. added mold channel cleaning and diagnostic equipment developed by Polish firm Fado Group to its lineup of Industry 4.0-compliant products.
Called CoolingCare Systems, the automated equipment uses high pulsation, corrosion inhibitors and cleaners tailored for contaminants high in iron oxide or calcium carbonates to keep cooling channels clean longer.
Cooling channels circulate a coolant fluid through metal mold plates, cavities and cores to cool parts as soon as possible to reduce cycle times. The channels need to be free of deposits like scale, sludge and rust for the mold to produce quality parts economically. Scaling and corrosion can constrict channel diameters and lower heat-removing capacity.
CoolingCare allows independent cleaning of mold cooling channels regardless of length and diameter, according to PCS Vice President of Sales Derrick Jones.
The technology was developed for in-house use by Fado, a Bydgoszcz, Poland-based tooling and injection molding company founded in 1984. Fado started making the technology more widely available in recent years.
Fraser, Mich.-based PCS is now Fado Group's new exclusive partner for the plastics industry. The partnership was announced at the Injection Molding and Design Expo held Sept. 20-21 in Novi.
"The first-generation unit of pumps and lines solved Fado's problem, and they realized it was driving efficiency in the molding process," Jones said. "Fado made a business unit for this product because nothing else can do what it does. It has been highly accepted by the marketplace."
Operators connect a mold or molds to the automatic cleaning system and define the cooling channels to be cleaned.
"A new tool runs at its highest efficiency, then over time, build ups occur. This product cleans those lines and takes you back to the original efficiency and cycle time you had," Jones said. "And it's fully automated. It sets the benchmarks for the tools. It knows how long to run until it achieves the flow rate in the lines."
The bidirectional pulsating movement of the cleaning medium enhances the process, Jones added.
"When it's running, you see some vibration," he said. "That's the pump, pulsating liquid with cleaning agent in almost a hammer drill effect. It's not just running chemicals through. It takes the cleaning agent and pounds the water lines to clean it."
CoolingCare automatically removes the contaminants with a filter that can be cleaned.
The CoolingCare Systems brand includes the CA-2, which automatically cleans two cooling channels, and the CA-6, which cleans six. A 10-inch touchscreen lets users see and act on system prompts, which, Jones said, provides a fast learning curve.
The CoolingCare Systems archive data and provide diagnostics of the baseline flow rate, starting flow rate and current flow rate.
"Then you'll know it has done its job," Jones said. "CoolingCare Systems epitomize the efficiencies to be gained by smart, connected, data-driven equipment."
High-volume molders are among the early adopters, but plans are underway to service other segments of the plastics industry, Jones said.
PCS' reputation for cutting-edge molding solutions makes the collaboration a perfect fit, according to Fado Group Sales and Marketing Director Jarek Jaskowiak.
"This partnership amplifies the standard of excellence we have set in our 39-year history and offers plastics molders of all sizes another vital tool in end-to-end solutions for optimal processing," Jaskowiak said in a news release.
Founded in 1950, PCS sells die and mold making supplies, including mold bases, mold components, hot-runner systems and cutting tools. The company has facilities in Grand Rapids, Mich., and Torrance, Calif., in addition to the Fraser site, and it is part of the Misumi Group Co.