Cold runner solutions for LSR processing is also part of Ewikon’s portfolio offerings, which will be showcased at Fakuma along with Smart-Control, a compact process monitoring and diagnosis unit.
Coolshot, the high-performance cold runner system, Ewikon says, permits process-reliable and efficient processing of various types of LSR. It features Ewikon’s electric drive valve gate system. In LSR-processing, electric step motors are used in order to position valve pins with high precision – in 0.01-mm steps – to achieve fine-balancing of cavity fillings. The valve pin length needs no manual adjustment, which saves time as system set-ups and re-adjustments during production is reduced. Furthermore, the advanced control technology permits permanent monitoring and encoders are used to adjust valve pin positions automatically. The touchscreen panel offers comfortable use and also features remote control access via a tablet PC (iOS, Android, Windows) with a VNC viewer.
All components have been designed to ensure maximum reliability and easy maintenance, Ewikon says. The manifold system, which is easily dismantled and opened for cleaning, features a fully balanced flow channel layout without dead spots for quick colour changes. Depending on the LSR type used, the water-cooled cold runner nozzle used in the gate area is available with different material combinations. Meaning, the thermal separation can be matched to the process to enable production with optimum mould temperature and reduced cycle time.
Two other options enhance process-reliability and maintenance further: A heated separator plate with a coil heater and a separate temperature control for each cavity are available on request. This heating principle, Ewikon notes, is a proven technology from the hot runner field, which permits even heating of the mould plate for homogeneous cross-linking of the LSR. The cavity plate itself can be equipped with an additional mechanism for easy separation from the cold runner nozzle on finishing production or in temporary interruptions. This stops the heat transfer from the hot cavity plate into the gate area of the nozzles to prevent a cross-linking of the LSR in the cold runner. The Coolshot system comes as a complete cold half with a pre-installed runner system or completely electric-wired for the easy integration into moulds.
With the introduction of Smart-Control, a compact process monitoring and diagnosis unit for hot runner moulds, Ewikon is taking a step further towards Industry 4.0. Smart-Control monitors, analyses and logs all relevant processes and system parameters over the entire life cycle of the mould, the company says.
For the customer, this means more transparency in the production process. It contains all information of the installed hot runner system. Relevant data such as running times and downtimes of the mould, nozzle and manifold temperatures of the hot runner system as well as shot numbers are permanently collected and logged. When defined critical values are exceeded a warning signal can be triggered. As a further option, hot runner system pressures can be monitored as well. The unit is attached on the outside of the mould or onto the wiring box. All data can be exported by using WLAN, Bluetooth, Ethernet or USB. A browser-based user interface that has been developed by Ewikon enables a clear visualisation of the data and can be installed on mobile devices as well as in company networks. In case of system errors, the data can be transmitted to Ewikon for quick remote diagnosis. This provides an early initiation of specific maintenance activities and minimises downtime of the mould. All new hot halves can be equipped with Smart-Control as an option. Retrofitting the unit to existing moulds is possible as well.