The mold manufacturing industry is experiencing a series of innovations and technological advances that are changing the way molds are designed and manufactured. These trends are allowing companies like Smartech to improve their manufacturing processes and offer more efficient and higher quality solutions to their customers. Below are some of the latest trends in mold design and manufacturing.
Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and Simulation
The use of Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software and simulation has revolutionized the way molds are designed. These tools allow engineers to create precise 3D models of molds and simulate their behavior under different production conditions. This helps to identify potential problems before the molds are manufactured, reducing costs and development time.
Additive Manufacturing and Rapid Prototyping
Additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, is gaining ground in the mold manufacturing industry. This technology allows engineers to quickly create mold prototypes with a high degree of precision. In addition, additive manufacturing is also used to produce complex mold components that would be difficult or expensive to manufacture using traditional methods.
Automation and Robotics
Automation and robotics are playing an increasingly important role in mold manufacturing. Robots can perform complex tasks at high speed and with precision, making them ideal for the mold manufacturing industry. Robotic fiber placement, for example, is a technology that has been adopted by companies like Ingersoll Machine Tools to improve large-scale mold production.
Industry 4.0 and Digital Twins
Industry 4.0 and the concept of digital twins are having a significant impact on mold manufacturing. Digital twins are virtual models of machines, molds, or parts that allow engineers to design, test, and redesign virtually before moving on to actual production. This reduces the costs and time associated with creating physical prototypes and allows engineers to explore process improvement goals that were previously unattainable.
Sustainability and Energy Efficiency
Sustainability and energy efficiency are also influencing mold manufacturing. Mold manufacturers are looking for ways to reduce energy consumption and waste in their production processes. This includes the use of recycled materials and the implementation of more energy-efficient manufacturing technologies.
SmartMelt: Innovation in Low Pressure Mold Manufacturing
Always at the forefront of innovation, Smartech has developed SmartMelt, a low-pressure injection molding machine that can be configured for both horizontal and vertical injection. SmartMelt is 100% configurable to the needs of each customer and project, making it an ideal solution for the electronics and cable manufacturing industry, where overmolding is used to provide permanent protection for the final product, insulating it from moisture, vibrations, and other environmental conditions.
SmartMelt features exclusive control software with factory presets and a range of features including a single gun workstation, a removable steel frame, a steel press, a double cylinder hydraulic locking system, an ejection system, pressure sensors, temperature control, and a cooling system. In addition, it uses Meler Micron 5+ technology.
The mold manufacturing industry is experiencing a series of innovations and technological advances that are changing the way molds are designed and manufactured. These trends are allowing companies like Smartech to improve their manufacturing processes and offer more efficient and higher quality solutions to their customers, such as the engineers who make up the target audience of this article.