MoldMaking Technology

DEC 2018

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Case Study / Topic 30 MoldMaking Technology —— DECEMBER 2018 Case Study / Mold Components A cutaway depicting decoupling during the ejection cycle of a typical barb and coupler assembly installation. both sides of the bars to adapt a new system. First, he put a cor- responding threaded rod on one side of the ejector bar to thread into the mold's ejector hous- ing. Next, he threaded the other side of the ejector bar to match the thread of the barb, which facilitates the quick disconnect capability of the coupler. (This is a non-typical installation. See the animation simulation photos for a typical installation.) Then, once he clamped the mold in the press, the ejec- tor bars were threaded into the ejector plate of the mold. In setup mode, he opened the mold to a safe distance in order to perform the quick disconnect sequence—the ejector plate comes forward and clicks right into the coupler. Then he moved the ejector plate back until it physically could not go back any further and hit a zero position on the machine to estab- lish his zero point. "I just wanted a positive-return ejector system, and this was the best way to do it," Cardinale says. Cardinale adapted this method to all the other presses. He notes also that it is important to size the barb so that it is no bigger than the ejector bar because that enables the operator to pull out the ejector bar without having to take off the barb. Alba President and CEO Rich Oles says that older injec- tion molding machines are not capable of producing an accurate ejection stopping posi- tion, decouple (using full ejec- tor stroke) and recouple on the forward ejection stroke. "Here, it is beneficial to have positive ejector plate return (springs, for example) to prevent the ejector assembly from drifting forward and causing a collision with the end-of-arm tooling." Lean and Mean Very early in Cardinale's career, a plant manager gave him a book called "SMED," which stands for Single Minute Exchange of Die, one of the many lean production methods for reduc- ing waste in a manufacturing process. These couplings fit right into lean manufacturing by enabling the operator to change things more quickly, improve accuracy, ease setup and increase durability, Cardinale says. "Now everything is done with quick disconnects, which shaves off a lot of time from mold setups." Before the Alba coupler, Cardinale would break a couple of sets of couplers every two months, which can get expensive. Today, he runs molding machines five days a week, 24 hours A cutaway depicting an ejection cycle's positive return during a typical barb and coupler assembly installation. Images courtesy of Alba Enterprises.

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