A new self-cleaning mold technology works as simply as a push of a button and cleans in eight seconds instead of four hours, with 10 times fewer cleaning interventions on the machine. Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd. developed this technology for the HyPET HPP5 preform manufacturing system and can extend cleaning and greasing requirements to approximately every 500,000 cycles.

“With cycle times getting faster, one could expect shorter maintenance intervals, more maintenance and shorter mold life,” says Nicolas Rivollet, Husky’s director of business development. “Instead, HyPET HPP5 overcomes the contradiction between cycle time and mold maintenance. Self-cleaning can eliminate up to 400 hours of maintenance time per year, which results in 5 percent more production time.”

The technology uses controlled flash of the tool to collect and remove dust built up in the vents. Completely automated, reliable, and consistent, according to the company, self-cleaning does not require an operator to go inside the machine, and can be performed as often as needed, as there is virtually zero time penalty on production.

Using six sensors to detect the position of the core plate with respect to the cavity plate, the HyPET HPP5 mold alignment is a real-time, 3-D measurement of the alignment displayed as constant feedback on the HMI. If misalignment occurs, the HMI provides specific instructions to resolve it. By simply turning a positioning device, the operator can re-align the tool with a resolution of a few microns before the offset can cause excessive wear and impact quality.