From Mold Control to Profit Control: The New Era of Mold Controllers
Mold controllers may not be top of mind when looking for ways to increase performance and profitability. Mold controllers, however, have been evolving fast, and the latest generation is driving significant performance and profitability gains compared to previous generations.
Altanium® family of mold controllers.
Let’s take a closer look at some recent innovations in mold controllers and how they can impact your profitability:
Innovations in Mold Controllers
Advanced control algorithms
Advancements in control software and algorithms are enhancing control of automated injection molding machines, allowing users to elevate mold controller performance, improve upon existing temperature control systems, and reduce energy usage.
At Husky, for example, we recently launched the latest generation of our proprietary active reasoning technology (ART 2.0), an advanced intelligence platform providing the control foundation for the Altanium® family of mold controllers. We will delve deeper into the impact this new technology has had below.
Mold temperature control technology
Advancements in mold temperature control can prevent issues like mold overheating or undercooling, ensuring a consistently optimal molding process. These include:
- Dynamic mold temperature control: Also known as variotherm or rapid heat-cool molding, this enables accurate temperature regulation during the injection molding process.
- Smart mold temperature control systems: These innovative systems incorporate sensors to measure and monitor the temperature of the mold surface or cavity in real-time, allowing for immediate adjustments to heating or cooling parameters. For instance, the ART 2.0 control algorithm has enhanced the temperature control capabilities of our Altanium® family of mold controllers.
Connectivity and integration
The integration of smart, connected machinery, networking, and data analytics is being leveraged to monitor and optimize the injection molding process, improving efficiency, productivity, and profitability. Husky's Altanium® family of mold controllers, for example, is Industry 4.0-ready, making it the most integrated platform in the business.
The importance of this type of connectivity and integration will only increase with the rise of automation, including further adoption of automated robotic unloaders, in-mold sensors, and advanced hybrid molding machines.
How Mold Controllers Impact the Bottom Line
Staying ahead of the curve with advanced mold controllers can play a pivotal role in the production process, significantly impacting your bottom line in various ways:
Quality control and defect prevention
Integrating quality control into the start of the production process reduces issues and failures.
Increasing energy efficiency
Advanced mold controllers reduce energy consumption during startup, enhancing overall energy efficiency.
Reduced human error and variation
Standardized machine controls minimize the impact of human error and variation, resulting in more consistent and efficient production processes.
Produce more parts per startup and electrically qualify molds before production. Additionally, modern controllers serve as advanced troubleshooting tools, minimizing unplanned downtime.
Reduced unscheduled downtime
Husky's Altanium® family can detect faults and take corrective action to keep making parts, minimizing unplanned downtime. Additionally, these controllers can interlock with injection molding machines to prevent mold damage, enhancing process reliability.
Husky’s Proven Family of Altanium® Mold Controllers
Husky's proven Altanium® Mold Controllers provide a highly integrated, streamlined platform for managing hot runner temperature, mold servo, and valve gate sequencing, along with best-in-class diagnostic and fault recovery features. They are available in various configurations for implementation in any injection molding environment.
Apart from being Industry 4.0-ready, all Altanium® controllers now incorporate the aforementioned second-generation ART 2.0 for enhanced hot runner temperature control through advanced autotuning and heat-up strategies.
Altanium® Mold Controllers also excel in diagnostics and fault recovery, thanks to the versatile H-Series Intelligent Control Cards, which underpin Altanium's temperature control and diagnostic capabilities. These cards can be interchanged across the product line and are available in various configurations to suit your temperature control needs and budget.
Altanium® with ART 2.0 improves performance and profitability
Altanium® with ART 2.0 is a true game changer for the industry, offering the fastest, most precise, accurate, and repeatable temperature control, far surpassing the performance and features of other mold controllers.
In controlled tests, Altanium® with ART 2.0 heated and stabilized the mold significantly faster than all three competitor mold controllers.
The ART 2.0 control algorithm enhances our best-in-class hot runner temperature control by incorporating more advanced autotuning and heat-up strategies. This has a direct impact on profitability, producing:
Reduced startup time
When combined with UniStart or AltaStart, the ART 2.0 auto-tuning routine (which combines multiple parameter tuning and heat-up strategies) applies full power to the slowest heating zone, which results in faster heat-up and stabilization.
Extended manifold heater lifespan
During startup, traditional controllers deliver power to the heaters for extended on/off periods. This causes frequent thermal contraction and expansion, which contributes to premature failure of the manifold heater. Altanium® with ART 2.0 avoids this by delivering power in a smoother, more consistent way, never allowing power to go to zero during startup. This greatly reduces the stress on the manifold heaters, resulting in longer heater life and reduced costs over the lifespan of your system.
Optimized power delivery during startup
ART 2.0 with UniStart and AltaStart automatically classifies heater zones and applies power sequentially. The group with slower heating zones is powered up first, while the faster heating group is energized precisely to reach the set-point simultaneously, minimizing unnecessary heating and reducing energy consumption.
Minimized resin degradation and waste
ART 2.0 with UniStart and AltaStart protects resin inside the nozzles from unnecessary heating during startup. This helps to reduce resin degradation and waste, increasing profitability even further by ensuring quality parts are produced at each cycle.
These factors have seen Altanium® Mold Controllers produce:
For more information on how Husky’s family of Altanium® Mold Controllers can enable you to boost productivity and profitability, download the Husky mold controllers guide.