Successful cycle optimization and quality improvements based on process simulation results
Injection molding is the first step in the production chain of MIM applications. It determines part quality, as faults induced here cannot be mended out later on. The green part quality and the scrap are therefore permanently targets for optimization. Additionally MIM producing companies start to care about cycle times of each sub-process. It becomes especially important when continuous sintering ovens are used. Consequently, the performance of injection molds for MIM becomes critical. Appropriate analysis tools are required to identify optimization potentials, in order to reduce cycle times and increase quality. This paper describes the experience of a MIM producer about how process-integrated injection molding simulation supported efficiently a new mold development. By understanding the interaction between feedstock, mold components and mold tempering system, drawbacks in the mold design were identified early. Innovative solutions were found to avoid local hotspots; cycle time was reduced and article quality improved in parallel.