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With the process-oriented approach of SIGMASOFT®, the injection molding simulation for elastomers is no longer limited to predicting the cavity filling while designing the part or to answer questions regarding a balanced filling. Based on an accurate simulation of the curing reaction (vulcanization), it can be used for designing the mold, identifying process windows and troubleshooting during production.
Schaumburg, IL, July 25, 2012 – At the recent DKT Conference in Nuremburg, Germany, SIGMA Engineering GmbH, Aachen, presented the latest functionality expansions of its 3D Injection Molding Simulation Software SIGMASOFT®. The focus of the presentation was the software’s ability to reduce development and production costs through new developments in process simulation.
Many factors in elastomer injection molding have an influence on product quality and costs. To ensure a competitive advantage, the whole manufacturing process must be considered. Since the design stage has the largest influence over the total costs of a part, this is where the savings start with SIGMASOFT®.
By using process simulation, feasibility and rough process parameters can be evaluated. Parting line and venting channels can be worked out, as well as the optimal type and positioning of the injection drop point. Where are weld-lines acceptable? Where do they need to be avoided? Do inserts need pre-heating? Which level of vulcanization should be reached and how much time and what temperature are needed to achieve this level? Important factors regarding part quality are optimized in this way, through the algorithms in the software.
A mold, which will be used for producing the part, can now be developed. Decisions must be made at this point, which can incur substantial costs: How many cavities can be designed in the mold (clamping force and required pressure)? How should the runner system be designed to obtain balanced cavity filling and the same compound quality in every cavity? Is there need for a cold runner? What heat-output is needed and how must the heating system be configured? Are the heated clamping plates adequate? Where should control points for the tempering be positioned?
The simulation is able to answer all these questions and allows reaching the desired quality with minimal effort (time and energy). In this way, the process stability is guaranteed before the mold is even built. Costs can be reduced significantly during development and existing processes can continue to be improved. This is all accomplished while substantially reducing rejects and material waste, thereby getting to the first good part much faster.
The latest developments in the software’s thermal solver allows for the exact integration of all mold components. As a result, an accurate reproduction of the real temperature profile in the mold is possible, even over multiple injection molding cycles. The simulation definition is optimized for the requirements of process engineers, so that complex detail questions can be examined from a practical perspective without requiring extensive knowledge of simulation software. For example, it can be determined how heating cartridges influence mold temperature and part quality, simulating them with their respective electric power and control.
SIGMA® (www.sigmasoft.de) is 100% owned by MAGMA® (www.magmasoft.de), the world market leader in casting process simulation technology based in Aachen, Germany. Our SIGMASOFT® process simulation solution optimizes the manufacturing process for injection molded plastic components. SIGMASOFT® combines the 3D geometry of the parts and runners with the complete mold assembly and temperature control system and incorporates the actual production process to develop a turnkey injection mold with an optimized process.
At SIGMA® and MAGMA®, our goal is to help our customers achieve required part quality during the first trial. The two product lines – injection molded polymers and metal castings – share the same 3D simulation technologies focused on the simultaneous optimization of design and process. SIGMASOFT® thus includes a variety of process-specific models and 3D simulation methods developed, validated and constantly improved for over 25 years. A process-driven simulation tool, SIGMASOFT®, with its comprehensive simulation approach, provides a tremendous benefit to production facilities. Imagine your business when every mold you build produces required quality the first time, every time. That is our goal. This technology cannot be compared to any other conventional “Design” simulation approach employed in plastics injection molding.
New product success requires a different communication between designs, materials, and processes that design simulation is not meant for. SIGMASOFT® provides this communication. SIGMA® support engineers, with 450 years of combined technical education and practical experience, can support your engineering goals with applications specific solutions. SIGMA® offers direct sales, engineering, training, implementation, and support, by plastics engineers worldwide.
For more information:
Christof Heisser or Matt Proske
SIGMA Plastic Services, Inc.
10 N. Martingale Road, Suite 425
Schaumburg, IL 60173
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Thanks to a completely reengineered solver technology and a revolutionary meshing concept, with SIGMASOFT® Version 5.0, the simulation time required in elastomer applications can be reduced by up to 80%. With this dramatic speed-up, simulation can now be integrated in the elastomer processing on a daily-basis, both for part design and process troubleshooting.
Schaumburg, IL, July 25, 2012 – At the DKT conference in Nuremberg, Sigma Engineering GmbH, Aachen, presented SIGMASOFT® Version 5.0, the latest release of its process-oriented simulation software. With a completely reengineered solver technology and a new meshing concept, calculation times have been dramatically reduced, while keeping all the advantages of accuracy and user friendliness of a complete 3D-simulation approach.
“With SIGMASOFT® Version 5.0, we have achieved a major breakthrough in injection molding simulation,” explains Dr. Marco Thornagel, Executive Manager at Sigma. “Some years ago, users had to wait sometimes days to get the results of a simulation. It was not viable to use simulation to support every-day production activities, or to quickly optimize products. Now, however, simulation can be part of the daily production tools used in the mold shop or in the production floor, to deliver reliable and profitable answers both to design new products and to optimize existing molds.”
SIGMASOFT® is still the only option available in the market to seamlessly integrate all elements in the mold within the simulation. Thanks to the implementation of “Finite Volume” numerical methods, not only can the cavity be considered in the simulation, but also the complete real mold configuration, including tempering channels, heating elements and inserts. SIGMASOFT® is and has always been based exclusively in 3D technology, developed over a quarter century. The mesh required to conduct the simulation is generated effortlessly by the user in only minutes, without requiring any manual optimization.
The new meshing technique in the latest version of the software uses “unstructured meshes.” These are basically “intelligent meshes,” which can automatically mesh finer regions where complex thermal and flow phenomena take place, such as part boundaries, thin walls or complex runner systems. It also can save mesh elements in regions where fewer interactions take place, such as mold boundaries. The calculation effort is reduced and the productivity of the software increases.
Through parallelization, the new solver architecture makes it possible to exploit the complete potential of multi-core technology in state-of-the-technology computers. Beyond a significant reduction in computational time, the technology now allows users to simulate more complicated injection molding processes. This will be now the focus of further developments in the software, according to Sigma sources.
For further information on this story, please contact:
SIGMA Plastic Services, Inc.
10 N. Martingale Road, Suite 425
Schaumburg, IL 60173