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Advanced manufacturing breakthrough allows greater precision and control for injection moulding

Surface Generation, a provider of advanced materials processing technologies, today announced that it has adapted its Production to Functional Specifications (PtFS) processes to improve the quality and efficiency of injection moulding manufacturing.

Encompassing a range of active thermal management technologies allowing temperatures to be locally and dynamically controlled to the exact requirements of each mould area and process stage, PtFS is already widely used by aerospace and automotive manufacturers to assure quality and maximise the throughput of compression moulding processes.

Following four years of research and development, it is now possible to use PtFS to heat and cool injection moulds in real-time. This allows manufacturers to precisely control how long materials remain molten in the mould and dynamically control material flow to fill thinner complex moulds accurately using up to 75 percent less pressure.

Trials with major consumer electronics and automotive manufacturers have confirmed PtFS significantly improves the ability to create thin fibre-reinforced plastic components. In some cases weight and raw material consumption have been cut by half and the need to paint parts eliminated due to a higher quality finish.

By reducing the pressure required to form components, PtFS also makes it possible to use smaller and more energy efficient injection moulding equipment. Combined with multi-zone heating and cooling, this allows a large range of electronics and dissimilar materials to be encapsulated within the moulding as they are no longer damaged during the forming process.

Ben Halford, Chief Executive at Surface Generation, comments: “With heating and cooling integrated into the mould, PtFS provides manufacturers with unprecedented control and flexibility for injection moulding. Rather than having to inject at high pressure and speed to ensure a mould is filled before solidification, users can instead introduce molten material slowly, guiding flow through complex sections, and then avoid shrinkage issues through precise localised cooling.”

“Armed with a more precise process, manufacturers using PtFS for injection moulding have reduced the amount of raw material they require to form components dramatically and achieved a better surface finish in the bargain. This technical breakthrough means that next generation consumer electronics, automotive, lighting, sporting, medical, household and packaging products can be significantly lighter and easier to produce, without compromising strength or quality.”

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