When it comes to improving your injection molding productivity and efficiency, perhaps the answer that comes to mind first is to simply purchase more machines. But there is another less capital intensive and faster solution to upgrade your injection molding technology.
iMFLUX technology offers a completely new approach for injection molding plastic parts, “breaking the rules” of conventional molding. So what is this technology, exactly, and how can low constant pressure injection molding help boost efficiency and productivity for molders?
This is the second article in a series exploring the fundamentals of iMFLUX’s innovative approach and how it can help stakeholders across the plastics supply chain. Below, we’ll focus on how iMFLUX’s revolutionary technology is a game-changer for molders looking to improve the productivity and efficiency of their workflows.
What is Low Constant Pressure Injection Molding?
iMFLUX was founded specifically to explore and pioneer new ways to advance process control technology for low-pressure injection molding. So how does the iMFLUX solution distinguish itself from conventional molding technologies?
Traditionally, the molding process fills molds fast, relying on controlling by high injection velocity which leads to high pressures using shear-thinning to facilitate flow. Conventional injection molding separates the stages of mold filling, packing, and cooling into three distinct steps.
iMFLUX takes a different approach where pressure remains constant and velocity will rise or fall to maintain that constant pressure. Once the material is sheared to begin to flow (usually a fraction of a second) to the reduced melt pressure setpoint, the technology can adaptively increase or decrease the injection speed within the machine nozzle, which in turn brings the melt pressure to the desired level. It is useful to only shear the material at the very beginning of the process because there is less shear heat during injection which can result in reduced cycle time. Controlling the process by melt pressure also has more benefit in reducing stress in a part, due to the better control of the process.
A huge part of this unique process is the iMFLUX Melt Pressure Transducer (MPT). This addition to the machine allows the actual melt pressure that is going into the mold to be read and adjusted with the technology. This results in a more constant process that results in reduced stress, energy, and time.
The advantage of iMFLUX technology is that it gives molders unprecedented, fine-grained control over how the mold cavities are filled and packed. Users can select precisely the melt pressure setpoint and the timing needed to produce the desired parts.
What’s more, unlike conventional molding, iMFLUX combines the steps of mold filling, packing, and cooling. Using cooler temperatures means molds are fully packed and with a smoothly formed surface, even partway through the filling process.
How iMFLUX Technology Makes Molders More Productive and Efficient
iMFLUX’s low constant pressure technology is revolutionizing the traditional approach to injection molding. But what benefits does it hold for the productivity and efficiency of molders themselves?
Despite molders’ best efforts, only 80 to 90 percent of a machine’s time capacity is spent creating plastic injection molded products and parts2. The remaining time is lost to unexpected breakdowns and failures, as well as scheduled downtime and maintenance. For this reason, molders must be able to optimize their productivity and efficiency on the factory floor through the right technologies.
Adopting iMFLUX technology has a number of measurable benefits. According to studies, low-pressure injection molding can help companies achieve economic advantages such as:
- 10 to 15 percent or more faster cycles3.
- 25 to 50 percent or more reduction in melt pressure3.
- Up to 50 percent lower clamp tonnage3.
By creating a better final product and reducing manufacturing errors and anomalies, low constant pressure injection molding helps save countless lost hours of productivity.
iMFLUX also offers quality advantages over competing technologies, helping molders stay relevant as the manufacturer of choice for their clients. The quality improvements you can achieve include reducing molded-in stresses, more uniform filling of molds with multiple cavities, and eliminating flow-front hesitation for a more finished-looking final product.
Within an ever-evolving manufacturing landscape, iMFLUX technology enables businesses to stay ahead of the curve and remain competitive. Thanks to this new solution, molders can offer their clients benefits such as:
- Greater thin-walling: Molders can produce long, thin parts just 0.03 inches in diameter (or even smaller).
- Material flexibility: By automatically compensating for changes in viscosity, iMFLUX can support a wide variety of materials.
- The ability to efficiently run recycled and bio-derived resins: In particular, low constant pressure injection molding works well with bio-resins and recycled and renewable materials with highly variable Melt Flow Indexes, fostering sustainability efforts.
- Capital efficiency through lower tonnage and up-cavitation: Molders can reduce the clamp tonnage required to produce a single part, realizing dramatic capital and energy savings in the long run.
For more than 50 years, the field of injection molding has remained relatively unchanged — until now. iMFLUX technology offers a revolutionary new approach to injection molding, solving many of the problems and pain points that molders experience during the manufacturing process.
Unlike traditional methods, iMFLUX applies low constant pressure within the machine nozzle to maintain the desired setpoint. This breakthrough has enabled a wide range of benefits for molder productivity and efficiency, including faster cycles and lower melt pressure, leading to a higher-quality final product.
The good news is that molders don’t have to purchase new machines to begin leveraging iMFLUX technology. Instead, it can be installed on virtually any existing mold and machine, making setup and implementation quick and easy.
Want to learn more about how low constant pressure injection molding can help cut production time while increasing product quality? Get in touch with our team today for a chat about your needs and objectives. Stay tuned for the next article in this series, which will discuss how low pressure injection molding results in better part and product quality for molders and a longer mold life.