MoldMaking Technology

DEC 2018

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Case Study / Mold Components 28 MoldMaking Technology —— DECEMBER 2018 This is an ejector bar with a threaded rod. One side of the ejector bar must have a corresponding threaded rod to thread into the mold's ejector housing, according to Busse Hospital Disposables's plant manager Dean Cardinale. By Christina Fuges Jeremy Fennelly was an intern at the University of Massachusetts Lowell back in 1992 when he answered an ad on the recruiting wall from Rubbermaid looking for engi- neers to work on a six-month system-integration project to help the company cut costs. The project entailed changing the configuration of the company's manual tool-change process, which at the time used cranes and manual hookups into a side-table mold-change system. The challenge was trying to figure out a way to decouple the ejector rods from the tool, which proved difficult with the waterline and manifold connection configuration that the company was using. Fennelly started research- ing options and came across an ad for couplers from Alba Enterprises (Alba). "This coupler looked like it could fit the job with respect to size and durability. We were working on big molds for industrial trash cans, in 1500- to 2200-ton presses. I reached out to Alba, got some samples and figured out a solution," Fennelly says. The Alba couplers enabled Fennelly to develop a way to index the machine to offset it. That way, when the machine was in operation mode, the mold would stay forward and not pull the coupler all the way back to actuate the decou- pling. Then when he was ready to remove the mold from the machine, he could index the coupler back further and a strip ring would automatically decouple it then recess the coupler back into the machine. Fennelly would then use a side table for mold pullout. "It used to take about six to eight hours to change a tool, and these couplers helped us BUSSE HOSPITAL DISPOSABLES PROBLEM: Current method of attaching the ejector plate in a mold to the ejector system in a molding machine was taking too long and breaking couplers regularly. SOLUTION: Busse invested in an Alba Quick Knockout Coupler. RESULTS: Busse now has a faster, more reliable method for tying positive return ejection into the mold, which eliminates any magnetic coupler breakage. A Simple Solution to Quick Mold Change cut that down to 30 minutes with tons of waterlines and con- nections," Fennelly says. Fennelly moved on years ago to become a senior principal engineer for Johnson & Johnson, but Rubbermaid still pur- chases a large amount of these couplers from Alba, proving the longevity of these couplers as a solution. Later in 1994, the plant manager at Busse Hospital Disposables (Busse), Dean Cardinale, had a similar story. Back then, Busse had one of the largest presses that Arburg offered, an 85-metric-ton All Rounder hydraulic injection molding machine and molds with positive-return injection systems. At the time, Arburg had couplings that threaded into the ejector plate and then threaded into a thread on the ejector-bar side. But during mold clamping lockup, the tools go under compression. The hydraulic side of the ejector plate would flex during lockup and snap the couplers. There was no movement or room for flex at all. "Plus, it was arduous. The ejector bars had to be perfect and threaded the same way. It was very manual with proximity switches. There were no programmable Arburgs at that time," Cardinale says. So Cardinale and his team created different types of ejec- tion systems to compensate for all this manual work. They used collar locks that were machined hollow, and then they Images courtesy of Busse Hospital Disposables. VIDEO Access the related video under the Videos tab at MMT online. This is an ejector bar with a barb. The other side of the ejector bar must be threaded to match the thread of the barb, which enables the quick disconnect capability of the coupler, according to Cardinale.

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