Balluff Tracing injection moulds via RFID provides transparency in mould handling
Germany – Moulds from injection moulding machines are subject to wear and tear and must be regularly maintained as a result.
The regularity of inspection often depends on the experience values of individual employees or handwritten notes. However, these are not always accessible, Balluff explains. Therefore, in many cases, maintenance and inspections are frequently carried out only if the produced components no longer meet the required standards or if the mould malfunctions. This results in unscheduled stoppages that waste plenty of time and money. This is where Mold-ID from Balluff comes in. It supports condition-based maintenance and provides more transparency in mould handling, the company says.
It explains that by means of industrial RFID, Mold-ID makes the use of injection moulds traceable and ensures their optimal utilisation. Mold-ID is backed by an autonomous system that can be retrofitted anywhere and at any time on all machines, without the need for the manufacturer or intervention in the controller.
In addition to the mould identity, a rugged RFID data carrier at each mould stores the current shot count and various mould-specific process parameters in non-volatile memory without making contact. This data can be called up via a smartphone or a mobile RFID reader at any time (for an audit, for example). An externally attached inductive or optical sensor, which is mounted at a suitable place on the machine, serves as the shot counter. According to Balluff, both not only ensure that assignment of the moulds is unmistakable, but they also return the objective database for condition-based maintenance. This is said to extend the service lives, improve reliability.