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Multidisciplinary optimization of injection molding systems

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The design of injection molding systems for plastic parts relies heavily on experience and intuition. Recently, mold makers have been compelled to shorten lead times, reduce costs and improve process performance due to global competition. This paper presents a framework, based on a Multidisciplinary Design Optimization (MDO) methodology, which tackles the design of an injection mold by integrating the structural, feeding, ejection and heat-exchange sub-systems to achieve significant improvements. To validate it single objective optimization is presented leading to a 42% reduction in cycle time. We also perform multiple objective optimization simultaneously minimizing cycle time, wasted material and pressure drop. Sensitivity analysis shows a large impact of the sprue diameter (>1.5 normalized sensitivity) highlighting the importance of the feeding subsystem on overall quality. The results show substantial improvements resulting in reduced rework and time savings for the entire mold design process.

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Correspondence to Irene Ferreira.

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Ferreira, I., de Weck, O., Saraiva, P. et al. Multidisciplinary optimization of injection molding systems. Struct Multidisc Optim 41, 621–635 (2010).

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  • Injection mold design
  • MDO
  • Global design
  • Cycle time