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Flexible molding system makes three types of large parts.

Powerfeed, a novel molding system in which a single extruder fills up to four independently operated mold cells, now has a choice of three molding modules and is offered in a mare modular design. The patented system from ForcePro LLC, Tulsa, Okla., fills the mold clamps one at a time. Parts can be ejected from one station while mold filling and cooling or a tool change occurs in other stations. A PLC controller monitors the process at each mold to maintain optimal flow rates and fill times.

The molding cell can be designed for injection molding (called the Mark-IM unit), structural foam (Nexus-SF), and now also molded railroad ties (Linx-RR). Though previously sold only as a four-cell system, ForcePro now offers the unit in a base design with a single extruder and one molding cell. Up to three molding cells of the same or different types can be added to the base unit. The base system costs around $1 million, including all design and related automation for part handling. Each add-on molding cell is priced around $500,000.

The energy-saving system uses just 40 hp to run the four molding cells. Output is increased because the cooling cycle no longer retards the overall molding cycle. A 6-in. extruder capable of 2500 lb/hr is standard, although a 10-in., 4800-lb/hr model makes six railroad ties per hour. ForcePro is working on a system to add colorants or fiberglass at each molding cell. Tel: (918) 382-9876,

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Title Annotation:Injection Molding
Publication:Plastics Technology
Date:Mar 1, 2004
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