In this week’s blog post, we’ll be discussing plastic mold flow analysis, and why it’s important to plastic injection molding design projects.
What is mold flow analysis? Mold flow analysis (or MFA) uses software to create a simulation of plastic flow, allowing manufacturers to enhance the design of their mold through a flow analysis of injection molds and create a better product.
By conducting mold flow analysis, manufacturers can get a glimpse into how the material they are using will fill the cavity of a mold, and spot possible problems. Creating a virtual version with mold flow analysis software of the mold before the physical cutting begins allows you to make changes and save on production costs.
When should manufacturers use mold flow analysis?
These factors will help determine whether MFA is necessary for an application:
- Tolerance requirements – Products with tighter tolerances can benefit from MFA before tooling to make sure you can meet the specifications for tooling design and materials.
- Product geometry – A mold with a more complex shape will likely benefit from mold flow analysis because the flow is less predictable than with a simpler shape.
- The scope of the project – There’s a cost associated with conducting mold flow analysis. The scope of the project should be wide enough to justify spending the money and manpower connected to an MFA.
The benefits of using mold flow analysis include:
- It allows you to resolve wall thickness issues.
- MFA lets you fill cavities in molds with consistency.
- You can unearth faults in design geometry, and avoid expensive tooling errors. It also gives you more support if you need to make a case for design changes to your client.
- You’ll improve manufacturability, improve quality and efficiency and reduce time to market.
- Mold flow analysis lets you uncover visual defects such as air traps, weld lines, and sink marks, and allows you to optimize gate location.
- Another key benefit is using the program to predict generalized molding parameters allowing for efficient set-up during the trial phase.
”A most common customer concern is gate location, many surface areas are cosmetic, on which a gate blemish cannot be tolerated, ” says John Burk, Mars’ Tool Engineering Manager, and moving a gate after mold construction is, at minimum costly, if not impossible.”
Mars International uses mold flow analysis for all new mold construction projects.
At Mars, we understand the intricacies involved with the molding process to get the most cost-effective and reliable solutions. Our engineering team is ready to work with your product team to develop new products and modify existing ones, offering the resources and expertise needed to deliver high-quality products ahead of schedule.
Contact us today to learn how our mold flow analysis expertise can bring your next product to life.