Obtaining information about what is going on inside your tooling and parts used to be difficult, but that is changing. Sensor technology for injection moldings has come a long way in the past few years and continues to evolve. We now have more insight into our tooling processes than ever before.
There are two basic kinds of sensors that can help you figure out what actually happens inside the cavity during the ejection process: pressure sensors and temperature sensors.
Pressuresensors. In injection molding, pressure sensors can give you instant feedback on sink, short shots, excess flash, part voids, or dimensional accuracy issues. On multi-cavity molds, they can help you deal with part warp and inconsistency issues from one cavity to the next.
To get the full benefit of pressure sensors, you need to include them in the design of your mold. To make sure you are picking the right pressure sensor for your type of mold, ask yourself the following questions:
Making sure these questions are answered up front can save you money in the long run. You can eliminate reworking on your tooling or delays in tool building by knowing what sensors are best for your application. The biggest advantage of pressure sensors is that you get real-time data, which can help ensure you have a better quality product and a happier customer.
Temperature sensors. With temperature sensors, you have two basic options: in-die sensors, which you should also consider at the time of the design, or external readers.
External die reader:
If you want to closely monitor your die pressure and temperatures remotely to ensure your process is consistent and controlled, in-die pressure and temperature sensors are the way to go.
With sensor technology making leaps and bounds, you may want to start thinking about connecting your drying oven, hopper, and tooling sensor to central units that can be monitored from remote locations. This can be part of your path toward moving your business to the digital age.