Injection Molding

Plastics

Quality Assurance in Plastic-Based Manufacturing Processes

Plastics

3D Metrology for Injection Molding, Blow Molding and Thermoforming Processes

In plastics engineering, 3D measurement technology supports and speeds up all phases in injection molding, blow molding and thermoforming processes: from prototype and tool construction to first article inspection reports up to assembly analysis and load testing.

ATOS is an optical 3D coordinate measuring system allowing non-contact measurements of complete surfaces of prototypes, electrodes, tools and injection-molded parts regardless of the object size. In contrast to tactile measuring techniques, this method even captures complex freeform contours quickly and completely. Full-field surface measurements guarantee a faster first article inspection and targeted tool correction, thereby reducing production lead times. For the production-accompanying quality control, both the measurements and the entire evaluation process can be automated.

Material Properties

Material manufacturers use testing procedures to determine material properties and create material cards. The knowledge of plastic properties is a reliable basis for adequate component design (CAD), the development of a functioning tool, realistic simulation (CAE) and the optimization of product variants, tool layout and injection molding processes. GOM’s optical 3D testing system ARAMIS offers full-field measurement of material specimens in order to determine material behavior and material parameters.

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Plastic material properties

Part Design (CAD/PMI)

If the CAD model of a part has already been provided with inspection features during design, the 3D measurement planning and inspection can be performed in a drawing-free process directly on the PMI data set (import and evaluation of FTA/MBD data). Furthermore, the full-field geometry acquired by GOM’s non-contact ATOS system allows refeeding and adapting component and tool geometries into existing CAD data if a tool correction is necessary (advanced CAD modeling). The obtained 3D measuring data also serves for the creation of design data in reverse engineering.

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Plastic part design

Simulation and Validation (CAE)

Simulation serves to compute and visualize mold filling, sprue, holding pressure, temperature control and filling time of the injection-molded part. The purpose is to prevent errors and to optimize the use of material, cycle time and machine size by predicting the process parameters and material behavior as determined by the ARAMIS system in materials testing. The real component geometry can be captured by the ATOS system and compared numerically to simulated data to optimize and verify the simulation model.

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Plastics simulation and validation

Tools and Electrodes (CAD/CAM)

3D digitizing saves time and costs during tool and electrode production and maintenance. Process control at an early stage reduces correction loops, especially for multiple cavities. Nominal-actual comparisons serve to control the individual steps during CNC machining of the tool. In try-out, GOM’s ATOS system measures complex geometries, offering 3D data for a specific tool correction and a lower material input.

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Plastic tools and electrodes

Plastic Parts and First Article Inspection

Full-field shape and dimension analyses including complete measuring and inspection reports (FAI) ensure that the functionality is secured and optical requirements are met and allows the tension-free mounting of a component. The first article inspection can be carried out based on the measuring plan (CMM inspection), CAD model or PMI data set with features such as Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing (GD&T). With GOM’s 3D full-field measuring system ATOS, no area of the part remains unchecked. GOM software allows for easy inspection of GD&T.

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First article inspection of plastic parts

Production and Series Inspection

In series production control, automated, production-related and mobile measuring cells reduce scrap and rework time. Parts do not have to be transported to remote measuring rooms. Using GOM’s automated solution ATOS ScanBox, programming, including the kinematics of the robot paths and inspection planning, can be realized offline in the virtual measuring room (VMR) on the CAD, while the measuring cell remains productive.

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Plastic series production and inspection

Assembly and Load Tests

Full-field or point-based 3D online tracking allows aligning and positioning physical parts relative to each other (optical gauge) and an optimum virtual alignment to be transferred into the real physical world. Supported by the powerful ATOS software, the ATOS system enables a flexible and effective digital assembly of several parts. As a result, mounting and installation as well as deformation and gap sizes can be checked. The ARAMIS system, together with test facilities such as climate chambers and crash test stands serve to examine the life cycle of products.

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Digital Assembly and Performance Tests