Everyone is talking sustainability. Setting and achieving sustainability goals is discussed by major corporations all around the globe. Sustainability is the societal goal that relates to the ability of people to safely co-exist on Earth for a long time.
Plastic injection molding may seem like an industry that wouldn’t be working towards sustainability, but it is! And there are many different aspects of sustainability to talk about when it comes to plastic injection molding: energy savings, reduction of plastics in the economy, more recycling of plastic and more!
Sustainability Advantage with iMFLUX
iMFLUX is an injection molding technology that installs a nozzle, software and interface on virtually any injection molding machine. As soon as you begin processing with iMFLUX, the operation is more sustainable. This may seem like a bold statement, but it was recently verified by Underwriters Laboratory that iMFLUX delivers up to 15% energy savings, up to 4% part weight reduction and automatically adapts to ±52% MFI (melt flow index) material shift.
Maximizing Energy Savings
iMFLUX can deliver an immediate energy savings because the machine operates at a low-constant-pressure. The process can also be set up to maximize energy savings. How does lower pressure correlate to energy savings and how can it be maximized?
To answer this question and better understand how iMFLUX can impact energy savings, work has been done on various mold, machine and resin combinations to look at what iMFLUX can do in various situations. There are multiple levers to manipulate that can enhance the energy savings: melt temperatures can be reduced, clamp force can be reduced (because the plastic is at a lower pressure when entering the mold) and cooling time can be reduced.
These various levers were utilized individually and in pairs, and then finally all three were applied. In every combination of machine, material and mold the maximized energy savings occured when all three levers were utilized. In some cases energy savings have been seen at greater than 20%.
Maximize Light Weighting
iMFLUX enables light weighting because low-constant-pressure packs as it fills the part. The methodology of packs as it fills ensures the part is not overpacked, which commonly happens in a conventional injection molding process and increases part weight.
Moldscan be redesigned to maximize light-weighting by taking advantage of the pack as it fills methodology. Thin walling and designs previously thought to be impossible are possible with iMFLUX. Molds that have been designed to be processed with iMFLUX have delivered 5-35% weight reduction.
Maximize Automatically Adapting to Material Changes
iMFLUX has an Auto Viscosity Adjust™ (AVA) feature that allows for the automatic adjustment to material changes and other process variation. This allows incorporation of more recycled material, where the melt flow index may be highly variable. AVA also helps when processing non recycled materials that may have variability lot to lot. Manufacturers can be more flexible with resin options, possibly creating monetary savings as resin prices fluctuate in the market.
Finally, iMFLUX with AVA could enable manufacturers to rethink their material choices. They could use materials previously thought not possible (e.g. replace polypropylene with polyethylene due to lower operating pressures). Material substitutions like this could enable more packages to be defined as recyclable because they are made of all the same material (e.g. bottle and cap).
What sustainability objective do you need to maximize? Wondering how to maximize the operational benefits of iMFLUX? Check out this blog!