Optimized process monitoring and control

Process-integrated quality assurance is one of the key goals for any plastics processor aiming to achieve zero-defect production. "Short shots" occur when insufficient material is injected into the mold cavities. If users want to prevent this problem entirely, they have to optimize their process monitoring and control. How to achieve this? By continuous measurement and monitoring of the cavity pressure.

The ComoNeo process monitoring system uses the cavity pressure profile to monitor and evaluate the quality of an injection-molded part. On the basis of defined Evaluation Objects (EOs), the system analyzes the quality-relevant sections of the measurement curves. At the same time, ComoNeo verifies whether the curves pass through the evaluation objects as predefined. If not, ComoNeo automatically segregates the bad parts. The benefits: enhanced process reliability, optimized use of resources and sustainable process efficiency in your production facility.

Benefits of process monitoring

  • Rapid overview of status and progress of production thanks to the integrated process dashboard 
  • Segregation of good and bad parts
  • Manual monitoring of cavity pressure by setting Evaluation Objects (EOs)
  • Automatic monitoring of cavity pressure with the EO Assistant
  • Online quality prediction as an expert method for segregating scrap

To optimize monitoring and control of your processes, we offer you a host of practical features for ComoNeo:

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The ComoNeoMULTIFLOW feature synchronizes pressure profiles by individually controlling the nozzle temperatures on the hot runner. It achieves this by analyzing and comparing the measured pressure curves. On this basis, nozzle temperature setpoints are calculated and transmitted to the external or machine-integrated hot runner control system. The control variables used by ComoNeoMULTIFLOW are the cavity pressure profiles in the individual cavities, and the actuating variables are the temperatures of the hot runner nozzles. ComoNeoMULTIFLOW stabilizes the process by compensating for batch fluctuations and other process anomalies.

Benefits

Identical injection conditions in all cavities

Shorter makeready and setup times

Fast injection molding process startup

No manual setting or readjustment of temperatures and parameters

Fully automated compensation of material fluctuations and process anomalies

Integrated in ComoNeo as a standalone solution

The ComoNeoSWITCH feature supplies active feedback to the machine. This allows ideal timing for the switchover from speed control to pressure control in response to cavity pressure.

There are two variants of automatic switchover control: with the first of these, the user adjusts the control behavior manually. For example, a user can specify the defined level of cavity pressure at which switchover should occur. The second variant is Switch Level Process (SLP): setup in this case is fully automated, and control behavior is automatically optimized from one cycle to the next.

Fully automated switchover with ComoNeoSWITCH is mainly used for molds with small numbers of cavities. The benefit here: ease of handling. All that is needed is to activate the process: everything else is controlled automatically by the internal algorithm. Both switchover options actively help to prevent mold damage because safety functions respond if the pressure rises too quickly, thus preventing over-filling of the mold.

Benefits

Perfect timing of the switchover from speed-controlled to pressure-controlled injection molding

Maximum process consistency throughout the entire production process

Switchover point can be adjusted automatically or manually, according to choice

Mold-friendly process

Internal stresses in the part are reduced

During multi-component injection molding processes, diverse materials are successively combined to create a complex product. These processes make use of various molds. ComoNeoMERGE maps all the components and the individual process steps for each cavity as a curve. The benefits: precise monitoring of the process sequence and reduced quality costs.

This feature is especially helpful with the production of multi-component parts such as toothbrushes, complex housings with sealing functions, and switches. All the cavity pressure data measured in the manufacturing process is merged to provide a clear visual overview of the multi-component injection molding process.

Benefits

Specially designed for multi-component parts

Different multi-component molds are visualized (different sensor positions or slider molds)

Individual process steps and components are mapped

Part-based good/bad evaluation, independent of the shot

Part-based storage of process data

The pressure curve is a key factor in process optimization and production monitoring. ComoNeoCOMPOSITE ensures that users can easily recognize the characteristic phases of the process such as evacuation, injection and curing in the cavity pressure curve. This feature allows optimization of process parameters for the industrial processing of long-fiber composites and production in the lightweight construction sector. The ComoNeoCOMPOSITE software meets the specific requirements for the RTM process such as long measuring times, evaluation of the evacuation phase, and point sensing. The pressure signal is also used as a control variable for individual steps of the process – so online process control becomes possible. At the same time, anomalies in the pressure curve indicate whether faults can be expected in the finished part and, if so, which ones. Capture and recording of the pressure signal with ComoNeoCOMPOSITE also ensure traceability of the individual process steps.

Using the pressure curve to detect defects:

Vacuum is too weak or inconsistent

Causes: faulty mold sealing, vacuum pump failure

Consequence: air bubbles and imperfections in the part

Irregularities in the injection phase

Causes: dislocation of the preform, preform defect / incorrect orientation of a layer

Consequence: incorrect fiber content, dry spots

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