Case Study

Plastic specialist slashes time and costs with NX

Plast Competence

NX Mold Wizard helps even the experts

 

Plast Competence Center strives to reduce the cost of customers’ plastic parts by designing optimized molds and molding processes.

Experts in plastic

Plast Competence Center (PCC) specializes in plastic technology, offering product design, prototyping, manufacturing of null series (initial batch) and series production. It also provides R&D evaluation, installation and optimization of production processes, including quality assurance. PCC is the partner of a manufacturing firm that develops thermoplastic products and injection-molded thermoset plastic parts, components (plastics/metals), complete hardware and highly efficient tools for injection moldings.

Engineers at PCC follow the “principles of plastic molding” as they develop tooling, knowing that violation of these principles results in production problems such as sink marks. “Huge costs for unnecessary and timeconsuming corrections arise through small violations of certain construction principles and rules during the design phase,” says Dominique Burkard, project leader for product development at PCC. “And here arises the question of why these defects are not given thought beforehand and corrected in time.”

Advanced tools prevent problems

The experienced PCC design team knows that errors can be avoided through a thorough development process, ultimately saving time and money for the customer. The team has also learned that great cost savings can be achieved by creating quality CAD data. For this reason, parts are built in a process-based manner using NX™. Reshaping, radii and other such needs are modeled in a segment. If necessary, the 3D model is designed as “mid-tolerant.” Data created in this way can, on one hand, be directly incorporated in the production of the stereolithography models or prototypes and, on the other hand, in the construction of the tools.

PCC also uses NX Mold Wizard, an advanced, automated system for mold design. Since installing Mold Wizard, PCC has been successful at reducing mold construction time by 25 percent versus conventional methods. Another outcome is a very high degree of detail and a low defect rate.

Accurate design data provides opportunities

PCC’s designers recently used NX and Mold Wizard to design a hand-operated box for EROWA AG. The number of pieces developed was so low that a technically sound injection mold could be produced, with the design providing complete functionality and an attractive shape. Designers modeled the outer form as a 3D model in NX. For customer reviews, they created 3D images using NX photorealistic rendering capabilities and generated stereolithography models from NX data. Tooling was designed using Mold Wizard and the 3D mold design was imported into CAM software for tool-path generation.

“Accurate CAD data is important because in the future, 3D data will be used directly for the tool construction,” says Burkard. “The result is an expenditure shift to the construction of tools, for example the creation of electrode data, which, thanks to Mold Wizard, is possible in an efficient way. And, last but not least, the data can be used during the development of plastic components for the R&D calculations and flow simulations.”

Significant savings

Burkard points out, “Huge costs for unnecessary and time-consuming corrections arise through small violations of certain construction principles and rules during the design phase. Mold Wizard virtually eliminates such violations, saving significant time and money.”

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