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FIPA in Practice: A perfect flush cut - The FIPA dual-degating station impresses an injection molding manufacturer in the USA thanks to a zero vestige cut

 |  Subj: Machinery

Difficult task, tight deadlines, andásuperb result witháon-time production: Theástoryline ofáanáAmerican first class injection molding facilityĺs collaboration witháFIPA Inc. leads toáaágreat success story.

Proper Polymers ináSouth Carolina, USA, manufactures high-quality plastic parts using theáinjection molding process forácustomers inávarious industries. Aáwell-known automotive manufacturer, impressed byátheáhigh quality offered byáProper Polymerĺs injection molded products, is having its front andárear wheeláarches manufactured byátheáinjection molding specialist.
Theáproject presented considerable challenges, achieving aáviable solution maintaining zero vestige, producing aácutting station thatáwould handle two different size arches, andáachieving anáacceptable delivery date. Theácustomer demanded this even though theágate faces inwards andáis concealed inátheáassembled state. Theátimetable forátheáconception andárealization ofátheáproject was very challenging. Theáoriginaláproject partner was unwilling toáproduce aásingle cutting station thatáwould handle botháparts, therefore less than three weeks afterátheáproject started, Proper Polymers was left empty-handed andáhad toálook elsewhere.

FIPA saves theáproject
Theácompany then contacted FIPA. According toátheir corporate claim ôChallenge Acceptedö, FIPA immediately began withádesign andáconstruction ofátheádegating station. Bothátheáprecise cut andátheárobotĺs limited workspace presented challenges.

It is common forátwo parts toábe molded ináadjacent machines inátheáautomotive industry, butáináthis case it was notáanáoption. Atátheátime there was only one injection molding machine available foráthis project, soátheáparts are molded alternately inátheásame machine.

Ifátheáworkspace had been sufficiently large andáadjacent machines were available, theátwo parts andátwo cutting stations could have been arranged next toáeach other andáhave theárespective parts cut onáseparate cutting stations.
Theásolution soon became evident: aárotating mounted dualácutting station, which processes two wheeláarches ináparallel. When changing production fromáfront toárear wheeláarch theátooláis changed andátheácutting station indexed 180░.

Aárobot picks upátwo wheeláarches fromátheáinjection molding machine andáinserts themáintoátheácutting station. FIPA air nippers remove theágates witházero millimeters ofáremaining gate. Theárobot then takes theátwo wheeláarches andátheárunners outáofátheácutting station andáplaces themáonáaáconveyor.

Safety foráprocess andápersonnel
Due toárestricted space andásafety concerns, theácutting station was mounted aboveáhead height andáoutáofáreach when ináoperation andáwhileábeing rotated pneumatically. This ensures theáblades ofátheáair nippers cannot come intoácontact witháworkers inátheáwork cell. FIPA parallelágrippers hold theáwheeláarches ináposition duringágate removal.
Severaláproblems inátheástart-upáphase were quickly identified andáremedied. Theágate geometry was difficult, theástandard blade opening width, smaller than theágate, causing interference betweenátheágate andátheáblade. Ináorder toáachieve sufficient clearance, stiffer springs were inserted inátheáblades andátheácutting stationĺs drive was replaced witháaácustomásolution designed toáallow forátheáwider opening. This solved theáissue withátheáblade opening dimension.
Ináaddition theáparallelágrippers witháHNBR pads designed toásecurely hold theáwheeláarch ináposition, whileánotámarking theápart, required greater opening tolerance toáallow foráeasy insertion ofátheápart intoátheáfixture due toáminor variations inápresentation. This was resolved byámodification toátheámountings ofátheágripperĺs HNBR pads onátheánon-visualáside. This achieved aáreliable operationalátolerance whileámaintaining precise positioning ofátheápart prior toádegating.

Timely start ofáproduction
FIPA designed theácutting station ináanáexpedited time, 20áhours ofádesign, 20áhours ofáassembly andátesting. Although theásystemáwas very complexáandádelivery schedule tremendously challenging, FIPA nevertheless succeeded inádelivering theásystemáonátime. Proper Polymers was impressed byátheáresult: Theácutting station machines aápair ofáwheeláarches inátheáallowed cycle time ofátheámachine. Mark Foster, Engineering Manager atáProper Polymers, says enthusiastically: ôFIPA worked miracles toáget us our degating solution, support was second toánone [ů].ö

FIPAĺs seamless all-roundáservice andásupport forátheádegating station assisted theácustomer ináresolving aádifficult situation andáearned their trust andárespect. Everything came fromáone source: consultation, selection ofácomponents, construction, commissioning andáon-site service. Andámet theácustomerĺs goaláofáonátime delivery.
Mark Foster has nothing butápraise foráFIPA: ôWe atáProper believe inápartnerships witháour suppliers andáwe have solidified thatáwitháFIPA. Iárecommend these guys toáeveryone Iácome inácontact witháforáEOAT andáAutomation solutions.ö


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