Moldflow Analysis, Mold Filling Analysis, Mold Cooling Analysis, Part Warpage Analysis

Why perform moldflow analysis of simple parts or parts that have a tooling history

There are many simple parts that may not need any gate location analysis and can be molded based on past history or known gate locations.  Yes, you will be able to mold these parts, but you may also miss an opportunity to possibly make an improvement in product design, saving runners scrap, material or processing savings, optimization of design, tooling/molding, and reduce cycle time. Since plastic materials are still evolving and newer materials offer many ways to save costs and improve design, part quality, and different options of radical design changes can combine multiple parts or applications into one tool. If you have not looked at any of your older typical parts/applications, it is best to review all that before you build your next tool.

Parts that are not changing product design, but need new tooling

Sometimes, you may not be able to locate the exact gate location to have a completely balanced fill all around the part and cavities.  These slight imbalances of 5-10% can be enough to for longer cycle time, cooling, packing issues, scrap rates, surface quality, gate or flow lines, surface finish, processing window, clamp tonnage.  You may be able to save 2-50 % in cooling time/cycle time with design/material modifications. In today's competitive market, this may be enough to lose on the next project.  Remember upfront review and analysis cost is one time item, but savings and improvements last over the product life cycle. When you perform analysis from an expert source like Ideal Tech, Inc., you not only will be able to avoid such issues but may also find new ideas or use newer techniques to combine parts or use newer materials.

Parts that are going through some design modifications

Many molders have gone through series of manufacturing problems when parts are modified some ribs, added features/structure, added plastics, removed plastics and engineering changes in design, tooling, materials, and processing. Old method of experience may work for many, but they miss the opportunities to optimize the part, tooling and process, eliminating trial and error costly methods and possibility of reduction in overall project costs. It is worthwhile to spend few hundreds or few thousands in one time cost in order to optmize your products with Ideal Tech Engineering services and possibly save thousands of dollars in tooling/molding.

Why perform moldflow analysis of new parts

Performing mold filling analysis of a new part is definitely helpful. Many would agree that any new part design should be checked with fill, pack, cooling, shrink, and warpage analysis coupled with finite element analysis if you are looking to optimize your design, tooling, process, and assembly. However, only experienced expert engineering source can offer the most value and solutions.  Any one who knows how to use CAE software is not an expert. Years of product expertise of diverse industries, higher educational background in plastics, and tooling/molding experience matter to find the right solution for the best value. Many CAE sources do not possess the right expertise, experience, and may offer only limited type of service. You may very well spend high upfront costs, but may never realize any real benefit of of using the right source. It is simpler to provide results to fill the part by doing a quick analysis or detailed 3D analysis, but you may never know if it is the optimal solution unless you use the right source. You may get parts, but you may experience problems with warpage, higher cycle time, processing issues, production inconsistencies, engineering change costs, tooling problems, product failures, weld line problems, stress failure, short product life, poor material choices, poor processing set up and much more. These sorts of problems may never occur if you have the right source who can immediately identify these problems upfront and provide the right solution no matter how many iterations it takes to provide the optimal solution. Ideal Tech is the only source that can provide a complete reivew and understanding of all possible issues to you when you choose any of the engineering services. This will help you avoid higher costs throughout the product life cycle. Ideal Tech has the expertise to support you for design, engineering, FEA, process simulation, tooling, processing, problem solving and project management. Check out our website for additional information on benefits of mold filling analysis, types of analysis, processing problems and other details. 

Overall Management Perspective on upfront engineering costs

Many project engineers, program managers, plant managers or higher managment of typical custom molding facility are always cautious of additional costs for their typical applications. Few hundreds or few thousands of upfront engineering cost is still met with some resistance even if there is a long term benefit because it is not simple to quantify the benefit of advanced engineering. Very few companies think of advanced engineering techniques such as moldflow, FEA, process simulation as a possible option to eliminates many of daily problems at the plant level. Robust advanced engineering and optimization of your design, tooling, and processing can certainly eliminate many plant level manufacturing issues. It can be the most value added solution to get a consistent quality product. When you do upfront engineering of each part, it can be hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars in overall costs. However, when you start having issues with parts, processing, assemblies, production, the whole corporation starts to pay for higher operational costs. CEO/executive management is then willing to pay hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars to solve the problem. Some companies even go through sudden cost cutting methods or pay outside management consultants to tell them to how to reduce work force, cut costs, reduce engineering or else. However, any good company never walks away from upfront robust and advanced engineering tools to optimize their each and every product. Those companies that use upfront advanced engineering techniques to control their product development and manufacturing costs are always very efficient in their operations, have better profit margins, have the highest quality products, and have the highest customer satisfaction.  Cost savings through cost cuttings or HR elimination shows up on instantaneous improvement in profits for short term, but does not solve the long term problem. Upfront robust engineering and advanced engineering not only eliminates many design, tooling and processing issues, but also offers savings through less engineering changes, costs savings through optimization of material, design, tooling, processing, and manfucaturing costs.  On the other hand, if you use any source that offers simply cheap pricing, then you may be adding more costs to your existing operations and dig a deeper hole. It is as much more important to select the right source. Gold or silver Certified moldflow consultants are tested for software use, but not for their experience in design, tooling, or molding, educational qualifications, industry experience, or innovative solutions abilities. Gold certified sources does not mean you get the best value from those sources.  It is very important to check overall experience, expertise, educational background as well full capability for all engineering services. Furthermore your source should be able to fully understand all aspects of design, functional requirements, product testing, assembly, manufacturing, finite element analysis, material choices, process choices, and a complete expert in the field.



Injection Molding Problem Solving Experts

If you have any molding problems or issues listed below, we are ready to help you through our consulting service or flow analysis services. Do you know why you are having these issues? Have you ran out of all your efforts to adjust process and tooling to eliminate these issues? Let us review your concerns and see how we can help you to eliminate your molding problems and as well as reduce your production costs and waste. We are always there for you to prevent such problems.

Gate Locations – best gate locations, unbalanced fill, jetting, poor location, size problems

Air Trap- poor venting, shorts, burning, unfilled area

Weld Lines or Meld lines problems

Short Shots

Venting Problems – burns, short shots, unfilled ribs

Multi-cavity Tools issues – uneven filling, unfilled cavities, flash, quality issues.

Jetting

Flow Marks

Sink Marks or Sink Depth Estimates

Warpage Issues

Shrinkage Problems

Uneven Clamping

Hot Spots

Core Deflection Problems

Breaking of Slides/cores/moving parts

Stress marks

Exceeds Clamping Tonnage or high tonnage requirements

Flash issues

Overpacking

Underpacking

Ejection marks

Ejection problems

Thick – Thin parts issues

Hesitation effects

Kentucky Warpage

Racetracking

Brittleness

Cracking

Delamination

Discoloration

Fish Eye Problems

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Leader in Art to Part Engineering Services

Consulting Services - An Air Bag Cover part was initially analyzed for mold filling analysis by a third party company for the toolmaker. This part had hot drops and tool was made as per suggestions from this third party company. The tool builder and molder went through some initial tryouts only to find out that tool will not fill without exceeding the clamp tonnage and weld lines were not acceptable at all. After spending over $25000 in 7-8 tryouts and many meetings, Ideal Tech was consulted for problem solving by both parties. Since design modifications were frozen due to delay in the program, Ideal Tech expertise had the options of tooling and process modifications to get acceptable parts. Ideal Tech expertise recognized key gating and some processing issues in the first tryout. IT noticed that the previous simulation was not accurate match and gating suggestions although indicated some flow issues, these warnings were unnoticed by the previous source. Upon confirmation, Ideal put together new modified feasible gating options, improved processing, and a creative flow leader option without affecting original design intent. These changes were verified and validated through newer corrected simulation runs. These suggestions were immediately implemented in the tooling and processing within few days. The tool was re-run and acceptable parts were made within first few shots. This resolved a long pending dispute between toolmaker and molder about tooling issues and tool was shipped to the manufacturing plant.

Lesson - expertise, capabilities, and experience are worth more than cheaper costs. Many other companies offer analysis services that are performed poorly and many details/possible problems are ignored or un-noticed. Due to such mistakes, many times the end user ends up paying for initial cost of CAE as well as high costs of tool changes, engineering changes, and molding. Use only expert professionals that have the experience and capabilities. Avoid low cost service providers that provide cheap promises and cost you a bundle.

Design, FEA, and Mold Flow Analysis - A load bearing support frame part had a subgate at the end of the part. Middle of the part had several thick sections and varying thickness sections. Parts were filling and passing the field structural test. Parts had heavy sink issues and were not acceptable to OEM. Molder was reluctant to make any changes in the gating and wanted to reduce thickness. Ideal Tech was contacted for the review and analysis. FEA tests indicated that reduced thickness can improve sink and processing but may jeopardize structural failure due to reduced load capacity. Ideal Tech was able to show the molder that gate location change is imperative to satisfy all of them and furthermore it can save on overall molding cycle. After several discussions about product design issues and gating locations, customer reluctantly agreed to try the new solution. The tool was modified to change the gating to the middle of the part near the thick section. A very first tryout produced acceptable sink marks and cycle time was reduced from 38 sec to 29 sec and all parts passed the field test requirements. Total savings were in thousands of dollars in overall production costs.

Lesson – Non-Uniform thickness or thick sections are sometimes design requirements. A proper balance of design, tooling, and processing is at stake. Functional and aesthetic issues take the priority over tooling and processing in such cases. It is a good idea to optimize product design, tooling, and processing through FEA and moldflow analysis combination before any tool build and save on design, tooling, and production costs. It can also help avoid costly engineering changes and program delays.

Project Management –

An innovative consumer product maker needed help to bring new products to the market. Initial artistic sketches and renderings were approved by the customer and chose Ideal Tech to take care of design, tooling, and molding for them. Ideal Tech accepted the challenging task of making art into a realistic buyer sample model in about two months. Ideal Tech initiated the project work with “LEADER” (Listen, Evaluate, Aspire, Design, Engineer, Render) approach. Several reviews and web meetings were used to collaborate on several design issues and finally a complete product design with several components was finalized. Using few different rapid prototype options, Ideal put together a realistic working sample model for the customer who then presented it to buyers from national chain retailers. The customer came back with a big order not just for one product line but for two of them. The customer was requested to submit another size product in the same category. Design team was once again given a task designing a second new product over next two months. Engineering evaluated all CAD models for tooling, processing, and tight tolerance requirements through mold fill, pack, cool, and warpage analysis. Design and Engineering finalized all CAD models that were ready for tooling and molding. Engineering team also lead in supplier selection, tool build, tool designs, and initial production. The customer and Ideal Tech worked together to review Chinese supplier capabilities, costing, and quality for tooling and molding. Customer made the final supplier selection. Ideal Engineering’s experience of thousands of parts was helpful to properly direct and guide tool suppliers to optimize tool designs for many different issues. Our engineer visited Chinese suppliers for final build process and mold tryout. After few corrections and some tryout adjustments, 20 different components were molded to make two product assemblies. The whole project was geared to get products in the consumer market shelves in nine months. Today, these products are seen in many retail stores.

Lesson – Using outside source to manage your art to part requirements can bring lot of success. The consumer company’s main business and focus is to market products successfully and should be willing to use expert source like Ideal Tech to take care of project management, design, tooling and molding. Customer never lost any control of design, tooling, or molding and did not need to invest in personnel and management to handle this. The same capital was used to focus on marketing and sales effort. This ensured that the product was sold before it came to the market.

 

Why use Ideal Tech engineering services

  1. Complete capability from art to part in product design, moldflow analysis, finite element analysis, engineering services, problem solving in tooling and molding, project management, and management consulting.
  2. Practical experience of tool making and building, various metal production processes or plastics molding processes through our past work experience as well as higher educational background of Masters/Phd in the field.
  3. We offer not only the best value for all our engineering services, but also collaborate with molders, tool makers, manufacturers on many of our product design and full project management programs.
  4. We work very closely with our customers offering them variety of options that are specifically tailored to meet customer requirements. Our short term or long term contract or project based pricing simplifies all your engineering services needs and reduces additional administrative work or project management issues. We are your supplier and partner.
  5. Experience of all industries from automotive, aerospace, medical, consumers, defense, electronics, energy that provides us an opportunity to offer innovative solutions and ideas by cross blending technologies of various industries.
  6. Our full engineering services and alliances with many of our customers increases mutual co-operation and offers successful implementation of project management of larger multi-component assemblies, modules.
  7. Complete comprehensive review of design, tooling, and molding for any issues or recommendations is added value and part of our any engineering service project.
  8. Complete support or consulting for manufacturing problem solving, plant layout, quality documentation, mold or molding documentations/standardization, and management consulting.
  9. Complete project management, data storage, database management, software customization and development.
  10. Lastly, most of our customer base is generated because of existing customers references and recommendations of our services.

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