Intelligent control improves injection moulding performance

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Eurotherm says that combining the new Barber-Colman MACO Compact Control system with Intellimold Melt Pressure Control results in the 'best system possible for moulding plastic parts'.

Maintaining the consistency of an injection moulded part is a challenge that has faced the injecting moulding industry for many years. That challenge has recently become easier following the launch of Barber-Colman's MACO compact controller that now incorporates Intellimold Melt Pressure Control as a standard option in all variants. In addition, a new cut-down version of the MACO compact controller will shortly be available that can be retrofitted to any injection moulding machine.

This patented method, which was invented by Milko Gergov of MGV enterprises, can, according to Eurotherm, genuinely be described as the 'new Definition of closed-loop process control' for the plastics industry.

Milko Gergov says: "This control option gives the processing people the tools to mould plastics from a materials point of view. The MACO compact controller, in combination with your injection moulding machine, allows the production of parts to a more consistent quality. In addition, cycle times are improved, energy costs are reduced and the operator has real-time control over the moulded part shot-to-shot. Ease of set-up will also be of interest to the operator. Set-up is so straightforward you could describe the MACO compact controller with Intellimold as the cruise control of the injection moulding business."

Self-compensating for non-linearities

Steve Schroeder, Global Business Development Manager for the Plastics industry at Eurotherm, adds: "Operation is self-compensating; there is no need for re-tuning or adjusting for processing variables that may arise as viscosities, temperatures and materials change. The novelty is in the fact that, for first time, the non-linear behaviour of the molten plastics is electrically 'toggled' with the non-linear behaviour of the machine (screw velocity adjustments in real time) to achieve and maintain melt pressures specified by the material suppliers for optimum composition and morphology. Thus the maximum materials properties will be covering part performance specifications."

With Intellimold, process changes are made automatically while each part is being moulded. This eliminates the frequent process changes needed to compensate for changes in the material, machine, and mould, all of which take time and reduce production efficiency. Eurotherm claims that this type of processing has not been available as a standard feature on any machine or standalone control system on the market until now.

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