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Hot-runner components and systems: product lines reviewed.


Supplies Thermoplay hot-runner systems manufactured by Enrietti in Italy, including a complete line of hot-runner nozzles, manifolds and temperature controllers.

Standard single-drop nozzles are offered in two styles: Type 1 nozzle used in applications where gate vestige is critical and must have a high cosmetic appearance; and Type 2 nozzle used for injecting viscous materials or subgating into a runner when gate vestige is not critical. Valve-gated nozzles, along with multi-gated nozzles in both edge gating and direct cavity gating of up to eight gates from one nozzle are also available.

The new TA Series nozzles come standard with a steel tube inserted through the beryllium copper core for improved wear and corrosion resistance. All nozzles are available as hot sprues for single-drop applications.

The TG Series of temperature controllers offers individual microprocessor control for each zone and comes standard with enough power available to operate in high-load applications.


Company offers its ATC-System II (12 to 192 zones of control) for hot-runner systems and its MTC-System for runnerless mold-temperature control.

ATC-System II, with an intuitive user interface, has a full-color CRT graphics display for all setpoints, actual temperatures, and power outputs. All process changes are made using a light pen, which allows for fast, accurate selection of all or individual zones. System comes complete with a sophisticated diagnostics program, which evaluates power output, current draw and T/C input. It reports the status of the entire hot-runner system (reversed T/C, cross-wired T/C, defective T/C, open heater, etc.).

MTC-System is designed for 4, 8, 12 or 16 zones of control at 240 VAC/15 amps per zone. It has a back-lit LCD graphics display of actual temperature vs. setpoint, as well as power output. System comes standard with an RS232 serial printer port for printing mold setups and errors.

Both the ATC-System and MTC-System offer a wide variety of options, including auto-boost, auto-standby and SPI-protocol communications to a remote monitor, SQC data storage, and desktop software. All systems are available in any specified input and output voltage.


Company's FITT-8000 is a multizone temperature control system especially suited for hot-runner gate temperature control, where temperatures can change as fast as 15|degrees~F/sec and maintain temperature to within 1|degree~. Systems with any number of control zones are available. Temperature on each zone is measured 80 times/sec and output is updated 20 times/sec to maintain temperature setpoint in zones experiencing even the most dynamic load changes.

Line-voltage-compensated output is changed from AutoTune PID to manual percent control at the push of a button. Integral Line Cycling (ILC) operates output every 50 millisec, virtually eliminating destructive temperature gradients in the heater's resistance wire. Zero crossfiring delivers control comparable to phase-angle firing, while eliminating RF noise produced by phase firing. Softstart eliminates heater damage from insulation moisture, while Auto-Comp provides a means of continuing production if the thermocouple is damaged. Coordinated Overcurrent Protection (COP) offers triple-redundant protection against short circuits without replacement of fuses. "Plain English" display of volts and amps provides instant heater status at no extra cost. Alarm output and 32 diagnostic events are standard. Controller housing mainframes are sealed against production-area environments, and NEMA 4 enclosures are designed per specification. Cable connectors for most existing mold connectors are standard.


Designs and builds hot-runner systems using a line of proprietary hot-runner components. Systems include valve-gate, hot-tip, hot-edge-gate and special custom styles available in both single-face and stack-mold configurations. Available only as complete mold-base assemblies or bolt-on hot-half assemblies, systems are fully assembled and tested prior to shipment.

Company resources include a fully CAD/CAM-equipped mold engineering group, in-house mold-base manufacturing facility furnished with CNC/DNC machining centers, and in-house mold testing for 100- to 500-ton machines. Major markets include medical; magnetic media; home-care products; food and beverage packaging, including caps and closures; camera accessories; writing instruments; personal-care products; electronics; and quality packaging.


Company's runnerless mold temperature controller handles up to 96 zones. It eliminates the need to rewire connections to the mold, because heater and thermocouple locations can be changed through software using the system's CRT menu. Available in modules of four zones from 12 to 96, the system includes a color monitor and 16-key operator interface. Features include temperature setpoints, high/low alarms, type J or K thermocouple input, PIDD adjustment, soft-start, and security codes. The screen graphically displays actual vs. set temperatures with high/low alarm bands. Forty-four mold setups can be stored internally on the hard disk drive. Additional external storage capacity is available through the floppy disk drive. A printer port is provided. The compact unit is caster-mounted for mobility.


Company's microprocessor-based temperature control systems for hot-runner molding feature the new Master Temperature Control Switch (MTCS-1), which provides a choice of any four different process temperature setpoints for each zone, up to the maximum number of zones in a system. User can change back and forth between any of the four separate setpoints with the flip of a switch and still maintain the four originally entered setpoints for each zone, an advantageous option for start-up, color changes, purging of mold, and maintenance, says the company.

The user-friendly systems are available beginning at four zones and increasing in increments of two, up 72 zones. Control modules are produced in 10-, 20- and 30-amp versions and can be mixed in the control cabinet according to mold-heater requirements.

Each PID module accepts five different setpoints: process temperature, high alarm, low alarm, manual power, and an acceptable ground-fault indication (GFI) limit. Six process displays, such as power level and the optional GFI indicators, are accessible at the touch of a button. Power-level display gives the current percentage of power being consumed in maintaining a zone at the desired setpoint temperature. With the GFI display option, heater ground faults are detected and displayed; and appropriate action (such as forced bake) is automatically taken. Modules also display fault and alarm conditions, heater/thermocouple diagnostics, and contain an audible/visual alarm system. When T/C breaks occur, system automatically switches to manual operation at a predetermined rate of power, maintaining the desired setpoint temperature. Bake and standby heat are standard with the system.

The optional KIM Module, a hand-held programming device, allows expansion of the system. The module plugs into any control cabinet and can be removed at any time. It can "lockout" or "unlock" any of the five different setpoints, change bake time, change any PID parameters, and enter any setpoint for an individual zone or all zones, including additional commands that enhance and simplify system operation.


Company offers the following runnerless molding systems and components:

* The Cool One (internally heated runnerless components and systems)--Melt-flow channels around heated distributor tubes provide a self-insulating system, reportedly using up to 75% less energy than conventional hot runners. Systems can be configured in a variety of single- and multilevel designs. Several styles of probe drops are offered to suit different material or cavitation requirements.

* The Hot One (externally heated hot-manifold systems)--A full complement of nozzles, heaters, riser pads, spacer rings, etc. are available. Three nozzle sizes and four tip styles provide a total of 27 combinations to meet a wide range of material flow and part cosmetic requirements. Company's Gate-Mate nozzles can also be used to provide the advantages of a self-insulating layer of material in the gate area; and its Osco multigate nozzles provide four or six injection points in one compact nozzle design.

* Osco single- and multiple valve-gate systems--Hydraulically actuated systems provide positive, independent gate shut-off. Valve-gate nozzles are available in full-body, bodyless or pin-gate styles. Single valve-gate system features a shaft-driven 1:1 ratio for long life and an external adjustment to simplify mold construction.

* Osco adjustable-flow systems--Nozzles permit external adjustment of flow rate at each nozzle and are suitable for balancing flow in family molds.

Company's Smart Series temperature controls, used with all systems, feature digital readouts, auto and manual modes, heater warm-up circuitry, and self-diagnostics for thermocouple faults. Single- and dual-readout models are available, as well as computer interface capability for remote control via PC or machine interface. A full range of system accessories are offered for the standard line. Special systems on a quotation basis are also available.


Designs, engineers and manufactures low-voltage (5 VAC) energy-efficient hot-runner systems with a complete line of components. Company offers support and service from mold design through to final injection process.

A 5 VAC or 240 VAC hot-runner temperature controller with a four-field monitor "window" technique is available. The controller is a multizone microprocessor-based unit that is PID self-tuning and reacts to |+ or -~1|degree~ F change from setpoint, giving temperature control for heat-sensitive processing. Features include input by thermocouple, digital LED display, soft-touch data keypad, ground fault detection, real softstart, thermocouple break protection, percentage output of all zones or a single zone--programmable for each zone, error analysis, and fault display. Units are switchable from amps to |degrees~F to satisfy many types of hot-runner systems. Interface linking to IBM PCs is available for SPC information.


Offers runnerless systems, which emphasize balanced design in every manifold, resulting in even cavitation. Each system is manufactured using CNC technologies, including flow analysis when required. Everything on the hot half, from mold plates to the integrally heated torpedo bushings, is manufactured by the company.

* Temperature controllers: Conductor Series microprocessor temperature control modules come in cabinets with one to 12 zones. Multizoned freestanding cabinets are also available. The controller can sense T/C failure and switch automatically to continue running at steady-state. Each controller module features an AutoSoft warm-up, percent-of-power display, dual-function setpoint, |degree~F or |degree~C display, three alarms, 14 self-diagnostic features, and U.S. or European power ratings.

* Gating and runner torpedoes: Sensitip molding torpedoes are designed for runnerless applications. Each swaged torpedo provides a more uniform heat profile than cartridge-heated types and is available in diam. of 0.312 to 0.750 in. and a wide selection of lengths. Each torpedo has a replaceable type J thermocouple located internally and up front for precise gate and runner temperature control. Gating torpedoes come in diam. from 0.394 to 0.750 in.

* Torpedo bushings: Sensitwin bushings, primarily designed for hot-runner applications, are integrally heated and designed to perform beyond the capabilities of ordinary cartridge-heated probes and coil-heated bushings. The bushing is available in three basic configurations for use in single-cavity, manifold or stack-mold applications.

* Sprue bushings and machine nozzles: An integrally heated and patented design in both sprue bushings and machine nozzles is reportedly responsive to even the most demanding cycling and resins. Each component includes a replaceable type J thermocouple. Sprue bushings come with 0.50- or 0.75-in. radius on the head, flat, or manifold style. Tips of bushings can also include extra machining stock.


Designs and manufactures electronic temperature-control systems for hot-runner molding. Product line consists of the 932 and 943 Series temperature controllers. The 932, with a "no tuning" feature, is a 240 VAC, 30-amp, single-zone unit designed predominately for use in manifold zones and utilizes PIDD analog control algorithms. Powerpak, the voltage-proportioning control output, is an integral part of the controller.

The 943 Series is a 240 VAC, 3-amp (or optionally 24 VDC with 300-w capability), four-zone unit designed primarily for use in the "drop" zones. It contains all the features of the 932, multiplied by four in a compact package, which includes 3-amp Powerpaks.

Controller modules are assembled into customized aluminum cabinets designed and wired to customers' specifications, along with cabling and termination requirements.

Controllers maintain uniform and accurate temperatures, typically less than |+ or -~1|degree~ F in the electrically heated areas of the hot-runner injection tool.


Offers externally heated, closed-loop hot-runner systems that carry the melt with minimal pressure drop through tubes from the machine nozzle to the gate. Internal hot elements are thermally separated from the external construction elements. No heat expansion occurs between the mold and the hot runner. Technological advantages ensure trouble-free processing of even critical engineering resins, according to the company.

The systems offer the possibility to gate articles such as cosmetic caps inside through the unscrewing mechanism. Special nozzles are available in vertical or horizontal multitip arrangements with up to eight tips. Minimal pitch diameters from 3 to 42 mm can be selected. Article weights of under one gram are achievable; control effort is minimized.

Two-color and two-material tools can be designed. The additional mechanical movements of a two-color mold are not affected because of the minimal influence on the thermal resources.


Offers a wide range of heated sprue bushings, nozzles, manifold blocks, and preassembled hot-runner systems. Internally and externally heated bushings; pneumatically operated, positive-shutoff needle valves; and a variety of temperature controls are among the products offered.


Manufactures hot runners for the packaging, closure, medical, automotive, and technical industries; and supplies systems worldwide, ranging from single-cavity units up to 96-cavity single-face and 2 x 64 cavity stack systems. Systems can be supplied fully assembled with pre-hardened stainless-steel plates and interface bolt holes for the cavity plate. They are fully wired to multipin connectors and electrically tested. On delivery the hot half is ready to be attached to the cavity plate and run. Individual components are also available. Company provides an evaluation and engineering service to upgrade cold-runner molds to hot-runner systems.


Company supplies:

* Cartridge heaters with built-in, type J thermocouples. Sizes range from 1/4 x 1 1/2 in. to 5/8 x 10 in. in wattages from 200 to 5000 w.

* Closed-loop temperature control modules rated at 15 amps and 120 or 240 v with time-proportioned power, automatic softstart, and analog or digital display. Standard housings have 1 to 12 zones. Single-zone housings with 30-amp output working off a standard 15-amp module also are available. All modules, housings and connectors are interchangeable with standard hot-runner controllers.

* Open-loop power control modules that fit standard hot-runner system housings and connectors.

* Open-loop voltage controllers rated at 5 or 15 amps and 120 or 240 v that use company's microcircuit control.


Designs and builds runnerless molding systems, as well as cast heaters for both mold and machine nozzles, prewired and assembled injection half of runnerless molds, and temperature control systems.


Offers the Heitic hot-runner system for injection molding applications. The 220-v cast-in heating elements, which provide external heating, are thermally insulated from the mold by layers of air and by a low conductive junction element located in the manifold. This eliminates the need to heat up the entire manifold block and substantially reduces heat loss of the nozzles to the cavity plate. The melt-conducting tube in the nozzle is made of an alloy with high thermal conductivity and abrasion resistance. Features include minimum center-to-center spacing of 0.71 in. between individually controlled nozzles; thermal separation of heating elements, which allows inside gating through small cores; and top- or edge-gate, multi-tip nozzles with up to eight tips placed on a diam. up to 3 in.


Designs and manufactures a complete line of hot-runner systems for thermoplastic injection molds. Systems feature built-in, patented heat-pipe technology for a |+ or -~5|degrees~ F temperature uniformity throughout the hot runner. Systems are available for all sizes of applications, ranging from multiple-cavity, close center-to-center gating (caps, closures, medical parts) to single-cavity applications (automotive bumpers, instrument panels). Versions for rigid PVC are a specialty. Systems are pre-wired and pre-assembled with integral mold plates for easy installation. Other products include hot-sprue bushings, injection machine nozzles and temperature control systems.


Designs and manufactures a wide range of standard and special components for runnerless injection molding systems. Molding components include integrally heated probes, hot-sprue bushings/nozzles, two-stage externally heated nozzle filters, thermocouples and hot-runner temperature controls.

Available is an off-the-shelf pre-engineered, pre-dimensioned modular hot-runner system. All modular manifolds are integrally heated with replaceable thermocouples and are made from high-quality tool steel. They are hardened and nitrided to minimize surface wear or scoring during assembly/disassembly of the system. Design consultation and engineering assistance are available on new tooling as well as retrofit.


Specializes in designing and manufacturing hot-runner systems. Modular hot runners are available in 220-240 v and in 24 v versions. Systems can be custom-designed for nonstandard pitches or configurations. Stack-mold hot-runner systems are available with valve-to-valve feeder mechanisms for no material leakage at the first parting line.

Systems are designed to process all thermoplastic materials in any shot size and utilize patented metallurgical fusion of the heater element to provide fast, isothermal temperature distributions and long-term heater reliability. Hot-runner solutions are available for single-cavity prototyping or for high-production, multicavity tools. Each system is thermally and rheologically balanced and available in all gating techniques, including hot-tip, multitip, hot-edge, sprue and valve gate (in both hydraulic and pneumatic actuation).

Also available are water-cooled gate inserts for use with standard probes and nozzles to maximize gate-area cooling. Minimum pressure-loss filter nozzles and microprocessor-based closed-loop temperature controllers are sold individually or with hot-runner systems. Complete hot-half packages are available, which include hot-runner systems, manifold plates and temperature controllers. They come fully assembled, completely wired and electrically tested.

New from company: The Compact Master-Shot (CMS) nozzle for simultaneous hot-edge gating of up to four cavities, which permits 45% closer spacing than a previous version and allows gates to be located on a 0.55-in. diam. An optional 0.39-in. nozzle-well diam. permits even closer cavity spacing.

Company offers engineering assistance and gives technical seminars on hot-runner technology, new processing developments, and on all hot-runner related issues.


Specializes in manufacturing a pre-engineered, standardized line of hot-runner systems and components, including temperature controllers, torpedoes, sprue bushings, probes, thermocouples and manifolds. Newly introduced products include a modular manifold system and a hot sprue bushing, which uses standard cartridge heaters, yet is capable of equalizing the temperature profile, making the units suitable for processing engineering resins.

Company's temperature controllers contain a patented cooling method, which allows the unit to operate without a fan. This is said to prevent dust, contaminating particles, and oil mist from entering the chassis. Microprocessor-enhanced temperature controllers include single-zone units available in 10-, 15- and 30-amp loads and operational in open- and closed-loop mode. They have a standard audible alarm and soft startup with optional ground-fault protection. Multizone mainframe controllers are standardized in 9 or 12 positions and may be stacked to achieve any required total number of zones. Control modules are available in PID with digital LCD display and adjusted power output.


Specializes in valve-gate nozzles. Designed to run conventionally or sequentially, the valve-gate system allows for large gate diameters up to 1/2 in. with no gate vestige. Characteristics include controlled cavity-fill rates and weld-line placement. Other products include:

* Mold nozzles with interchangeable tips that provide flexibility in design and gate cosmetics. Material flow channels from 1/4- to 1/2-in. diam. meet requirements of large- and small-shot weight parts.

* Multiple-gate nozzles designed for smaller parts that have one thermocouple-controlled heater per gate. Capacity to eight gates per nozzle provides an economical and condensed runnerless system.

* Adjustable flow-control nozzles that provide a mechanical balance of fill into each cavity, placement of weld line, and good gate cosmetics.


Offers an extensive range of Italian-designed single-feed hot-runner nozzles and multifeed bushings. Company designs and builds complete manifold systems (with up to 96 drops) using CAD and flow analysis. Nozzles and bushings employ an internal 24-volt cartridge heater that extends the whole length of the unit. Low heater voltage protects the unit from damage by moisture, without need for soft-start. Simple voltage control is used, without need for thermocouples. The 24-v cartridge provides sufficient control to prevent drool without a mechanical shutoff system. Titanium-coated bushings are offered for use with abrasive glass-filled materials.

Manifolds incorporate special 240-v cartridges with unusually low watt-density. Systems are designed to achieve a "natural seal" by means of thermal expansion of close-fitting components, so no special seals, sealing rings or springs are required to prevent leakage.


Offers hot-runner systems, including manifold, hot sprue bushings, and temperature controls. "Even-Flow" systems are said to be especially suited to multicavity and large multidrop molds. One-piece cast, round manifolds are said to be leak-proof without use of o-rings. They also reportedly offer 20-40% lower power consumption, smooth flow passages with reduced shear, and ability to be controlled with a single setpoint. Externally heated hot drops have flow paths free of restrictions. Valve gates and low-vestige tips are available.

P.E.T.S. Model 7000 temperature controller comes with up to 32 zones in multiples of eight. It has a 9-in. CRT with menu-type software. Max. total load is 100 kva; max. per zone is 30 amps (40 amps optional). Housed in a rugged, dust- and oil-tight NEMA-style enclosure, the controller offers data storage for up to 10 mold setups, full-time display of all zone operating parameters, RS232/484 serial output port, and optional SPC monitoring with output to a host computer. Diagnostics instantly alarm and display control and mold electrical problems, as well as corrective action to be taken.


Designs and constructs runnerless injection molding systems, which consist of hot-runner manifolds, heated sprue bushings, multitip nozzles and temperature control systems.

Company's line of heated sprue bushings consists of six different tip styles available in 1- or 3/4-in. diam. Tip styles include pinpoint, full-flow, reverse-taper and large-shot configurations. Heated sprue bushings can easily be retrofitted into existing molds with the use of an FR gate interface.

Hot-runner systems are constructed to customer's requirements on an individual basis. All manifold systems are externally heated for precise temperature control. Flow channels, drop lengths and plate thicknesses are sized correctly for each application.

For the maximum amount of cavities in as small an area as possible, Polyshot has developed the Multitip System, which allows two to eight individual drops to be included on each module. Modules can operate in a standalone mode or can be interfaced to company's Hot Manifold System. The Multitip System is suitable for high-volume, small-part applications.

Company also furnishes complete temperature control systems to operate its runnerless molding systems. They are available in single- and multiple-zone configurations and feature ground-fault softstart systems, PID output, solid-state digital readouts, and the ability to read out in setpoint or direct thermocouple mode.


Company offers its True Shot runnerless molding system with reportedly unique capabilities for rapid color change and leak-proof operation. The system utilizes heat-treated components to reduce wear, and its air-gap insulation and reduced-mass design are said to result in energy savings. Company's Ramarod cartridge, Ramaband and Rama cast-aluminum band heaters provide uniform, uninterrupted, external melt heating.

Complete engineering and R&D services using CAD are available for custom-designed heating assembly needs. (See also Heaters and Heating Elements.)


Series 8000 eight-zone temperature controller is suitable for hot-runner control. System has PID control, autotuning, soft-start, RS485 or RS232-C computer interface, digital ammeter with alarm, and run and standby setpoints. The latter can be put on a seven-day clock for automatic warmup. Current monitoring with the digital ammeter and low-current alarm provides immediate warning of heater burnout--much faster than a low-temperature alarm. Company also offers a Model 1000 four-zone controller.


Company offers hot-runner probes and filter nozzles.

Probes employ a patented process that is said to virtually eliminate all but the smallest gate vestiges in injection molded parts. Company's Thermal Valve Gating employs the conventional probe body heater found on all hot-runner systems, with the addition of its probe tip heater that cycles on and off. Accurate control of the probe tip temperature allows systems to run in a "lights out" environment. Probe types range from the side-gating L Probe, to the superhigh-temperature EH Probe, to the 1/2-gate-pitched I Block used in miniature medical-parts production.

Using three new patents, company's Supercycle filter nozzle reportedly delivers ultra-precision molding on the fastest theoretical cycles with no downtime. A rotary valve maintains hold pressure to the cavities during screw recovery; a pressure-release valve ensures repeatable hold pressure independent of hydraulic pressure; and a filtration system has no pressure drop, does not reduce injection rates even when clogged, and cleans in minutes.


Model 530 HR hot-runner temperature controller has a Microcycle feature that updates the controls every 8 millisec, so as to minimize temperature overshoot. Other features include soft-start protection, integral SPC capability--which communicates with a separate PC running Syscon's SPC software, and SPI communications protocol, which allows hot-runner control to be integrated with the molding machine control.


Supplies common sizes of stainless-steel cartridge heaters and variable transformers for manual temperature controls.
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Title Annotation:plastics machinery
Publication:Plastics Technology
Article Type:Buyers Guide
Date:Jul 15, 1992
Previous Article:Metallic mold materials: product lines reviewed.
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