Injection molding is vital to the mass production of plastics and plastic products. Due to the variety of complications with mold design and mold manufacturing, and the combining of plastics and molding machines, there is difficulty in molding products with high quality and precision.
However, Big Data and Cloud technology make the process simpler and improve quality.
Stated by custom urethane manufacturers, Big Data and Cloud refer to devices connected to the Internet and their ability to analyze data generated by those devices to derive information to better drive decisions, optimize results, and improve quality.
Let’s see how our increasing advancement in technology is making big waves for manufacturers in their injection molding process.
Manufacturer Advantages: Cloud and Big Data
Mold manufacturers and molders gain many advantages using Cloud and Big Data technology, such as the ability to monitor systems created for tooling. The way this works is that the system comprises three components.
The first component is a mold monitor, which is a tiny, battery-powered device that companies install on the injection mold. This device then records when the mold cycles and calculates cycling times and compares it against previous weeks to increase efficiency.
The second part is a press module or a radio transmitter, which companies install on the molding press to wirelessly communicate with the third component, which is a device that connects through Ethernet to send the data from the mold in real-time to a database where customers can log in and view the information.
The benefit of this system is that customers can access vital information from anywhere in the world and at any time.
Manufacturers can configure this monitoring system to provide real-time alerts should the mold malfunction or if it’s not operating within defined limits.
For example, users can set intervals to alert them about preventative maintenance and whether a particular mold is overdue for maintenance.
Another example of how companies customize monitoring systems like this is by tracking real-time measurements such as cycle time and efficiency and alerting users if the mold isn’t performing up to standards.
Maintenance Advantages: Big Data and Cloud
Maintenance also comes into play with Big Data and Cloud technologies. Molding companies use data derived from a mold monitoring system to schedule preventive maintenance tasks to ensure efficient operation and reduce downtime.
One company used this system to analyze cycle times generated by the monitoring system and saw that as the mold aged, the cycle times increased. They also found that as molds cycled, corroding started to impede the cooling systems, which affected the mold’s ability to cool down.
Receiving alerts and viewing this crucial information in real-time is vital to keeping the process running efficiently and maintaining healthy profit margins.
Big Data and Cloud Technologies: Here to Stay
As companies adopt Big Data and Cloud technologies and begin monitoring molds in real-time, they ensure production requirements are met and fix small issues before they become major problems that impact the process and the supply chain.
Analyzing and collecting data in real-time and reporting it is a technology that’s here to stay and will only become more invaluable as systems advance and monitoring technology improves.
Mold design and mold manufacturing demand high precision, and thanks to real-time monitoring, companies no longer have to rely on time-consuming manual checks and can instead focus their energies elsewhere letting the automated system gather the information.