VIRTUAL MOULDING FOR EFFICIENCY IMPROVEMENT
Grupo Erum attended a technical conference on injection simulation using Sigmasoft Virtual Molding technology. This is a revolutionary analysis technology that replaces a physical injection machine with a virtual simulation. The whole process can be performed on the computer so that optimised moulds can produce items without faults from the beginning, increasing efficiency.
Computer simulation has been established in the plastics industry for more than a decade. However, mathematical complexity of the injection process coupled with computational technology barriers have limited the analysis until recently.
Hardware advances and progress in “solver” technology allow simulations to go far beyond analysis of the filling and deformation of the injected item. Much more complex and precise effects can now be demonstrated, approaching the reality of injection moulding.
This simulation enables integration of all the components of the mould: cavities, hot and cold channels, cooling channels, inserts, moulding plates, etc. Each of these components are modelled with their real thermal properties so that the simulation reproduces heat exchanges during the process, including over various cycles. This reproduction of the process conditions ensures that the analysis reproduces a physical injection machine exactly and predicts any possible problems that may occur in a mould. The operation of an existing mould may be visualised, and opportunities identified for improving the cycle time, reducing energy consumption and improving the quality of items produced.