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Best Practices

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Best Practices2022-12-01T18:22:11+00:00

Hot Runner Temperature Controllers Boost Productivity and Quality

Want to know how to reduce scrap and increase productivity in your shop…Fast Heat by Spark Industries' temperature controllers are a must! Realistically, there are hundreds of ways to eliminate or reduce scrap on your  production floor that will increase those productivity numbers…from reintroducing scrap back into your processes to continuing to educate your technicians. Sure, but what options are practical, reliable and reasonable? Really the best approach is to attack from as many potential problem points as you can…diversify; man, material and machine…this way you can make sure your bases are covered, so to speak. So, yes, train your techs, choose the best process parameters and maintain your equipment as best you can. You can also go one step beyond for stability in material temps…and Fast

CableXChecker: Diagnose Hot Runner Cable Issues

Effectively Getting to the Root of the Problem Diagnostic device helps molders check hot runner cables quickly and efficiently Spaghetti bowl?! That’s right…spaghetti! That’s what all the wires and cables inside a press might remind you of…and have you looked closely at all the pins and cables making up a hot runner system? Plastic injection molding is not for the faint of heart…it is both an art and a science. Hot runner injection molding involves lots of cables, wires and moving parts; these things are sometimes confusing and temperamental. Understanding and repairing this essential equipment is a big deal! So, how do you make the best of trouble shooting this often complicated equipment? First, we want to point out the obvious…that preventing issues is the best way

Low-Investment Molding Solution

Hot Runner Temperature Control: A Low-Investment Molding Solution Processing challenges and mold design considerations amplify the importance of the use of hot runner controls. Before we get started on the subject of using hot runner controls as a wide-reaching molding solution, we thought it worth mentioning where we are economically. The state of the economy absolutely causes lower-cost manufacturing solutions to be even more critical. We already know that tight budgets and supply chain concerns are definitely part of the challenges facing molders and manufacturers today. So, is the US in a recession? Forbes states, “According to the general definition—two consecutive quarters of negative gross domestic product (GDP)—the U.S. entered a recession in the summer of 2022.” How will you ensure that your plastic injection molding business

Reliable Hot Runner Temperature Control

Pulse technology demonstrates enhanced ergonomic features for accurate and reliable hot runner temperature control. Catchy intro… Well, we don’t really have one. But to be straightforward…Fast Heat Inc. by Spark Industries is simply the apex of the industry when it comes to hot runner controllers. Gear like the (showcased at Amerimold 2021 exhibit) Pulse hot runner temperature controllers which protect heaters and thermocouples also prevent operator error and enable users to specify production cycles; it’s hard to beat Fast Heat when it comes to considering the customer and how injection molding machinery will be utilized by the operator. Plus, Pulse controllers can be complemented with Fast Heat’s proprietary Mold and Cable Checker tools for diagnosing hot-half and cable issues. That’s a lot of indispensable assistance in

Hot Runner Cable Connector Anatomy

Hot runner cable connectors come in a wide range of specifications with some being much better than others. Our recent article in MoldMaking Technology magazine calls attention to the top 5 problems we typically see in the field. These include: Pushed-Back or Bent Pins Pushed-Back Inserts High Amp Deterioration Loose or Broken Latches Missing or Loose Ground Wire Connections The anatomy of connectors is shown in the featured image. Hoods come in low and high profiles with top or side cable entry and one or two locking levers.  Male contacts should be machined but the smaller 25-pin variety can be found in a rolled and crimped design, which is not recommended. Male pins (contacts) and female inserts are press-fit into their related insert bases. Housings are specified

Hot Runner Control Input and Output Communication

Hot Runner Control Input-Output Signals Hot runner control input-output signals are a terrific way to integrate hot runner temperature controls with injection molding machines, robots, conveyors, or other peripheral equipment. The Fast Heat Pulse Controller has four INPUT and OUTPUT channels. The channels are configurable per order, but the INPUT is typically a N/O (normally open) dry contact or a 10-32 DC voltage signal, and the OUTPUT standard is a N/O (normally open) dry contact. Each OUTPUT channel can have one or more ALARM STATUS or an AT TEMPERATURE notification assigned to activate it. Each INPUT channel is typically assigned to either RUN, STOP, BOOST, or IDLE.  Example use cases include but are not limited to:  % POWER ALARM – used to turn off a potentially leaking

Hot Runner Control Impact on Moldflow Analysis

Consistent Hot Runner Temperature Control is Key We've known for many years that Fast Heat clients value precise hot runner temperature control, especially for engineered resins, glass-filled applications and wide-spec regrinds. These materials require consistent temperature control to achieve "part-to-print" specifications. According to CAE, a leader in Moldflow analysis, altering material characteristics due to inconsistent temperature control is a common cause of warpage. Another aspect of achieving "part-to-print" specifications, as CAE calls it, are process settings. Again, the key to temperature control is not to introduce variation into the process due to fluctuating temperatures. Simply put, the manifold system is merely a passageway for the melt that is already supposed to be plasticized correctly by the injection molding machine. While gate location, gate type/size and sequential

Fast Heat’s CableXChecker: Hot Runner Cable Testing

Hot Runner Cable Testing - So Much Easier! Hot runner cable testing can be a tedious process. The traditional way of testing hot runner cables uses an ohmmeter or multimeter. The problem is that when cables are “set aside” in the “not-sure-what’s-wrong-with-it pile,” somebody has to troubleshoot the cables to see if they are faulty. The first thing to check for is the continuity of each zone. You’ll need to know the wiring diagram of the connectors. You then touch one of the ohmmeters leading to the male pin or female connection and the other lead to the related zone on the other end of the cable. You’ll then do this for each of the remaining zones. If you’re by yourself without a vise and workbench, it’s

Fast Heat’s MoldXChecker: Hot Runner Maintenance

Hot Runner Maintenance - A Better & Safer Way! What would you normally have to do for hot runner maintenance? You’d look for dead shorts caused by pinched wires, open circuits, and you would want to measure the resistance of the heaters to ensure they are in a healthy range. Let’s start by measuring the resistance of the heaters. Put your meter in ohms, make sure the test leads are good and then go to each one of the heater circuits (you have to know the wiring diagram), touching each pin for each circuit. Measuring resistance will not tell you if you have a direct short. The only way to do that is to put one lead on the body of the hot half and then

MoldXChecker ®: Hot Runner Diagnostics

Hot Runner Maintenance Using the MoldXChecker ® Just like you would connect your hot half to a hot runner controller, you can now connect to the Fast Heat MoldXChecker. If you’re wise and use the Mold Checker in the tool room, you would also know if you had an open heater. Waiting until you have a mold on the press to find out you have an open heater means you wasted all of the time. To troubleshoot an open alarm on your controller on the shop floor, you’d have to backtrack through your connectors and cables and then climb up on the tool (dangerous!) to check your mold box wiring and heater for that zone. If you truly have an open heater, you’ll need to pull the

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