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Why Is Mould Trialing So Important?

Often, the end product of a customer order is thought of as the most important part of the whole moulding process. This is indeed the case in the ultimate sense, but what about all of the aspects that come into play in order to reach that end stage and produce a high quality product that works as it says on the tin? Without a properly designed and functioning mould, it is impossible to produce an end product that meet the design specifications and this is why mould trialling is so important. What is mould trialling, you ask? Read on!

The process of mould trialling is the production and further optimisation of a mould design to produce the best final product possible. This starts at the CAD design and input stage and it is important to have the skills of knowledge of a highly experienced moulding engineer to get the best out of this process. By working together with the customer, the engineer is able to foresee any problems with the initial design and design them out prior to mould construction, therefore saving time, money and resources on an expensive mistake! If this process is completed correctly, it is possible that the mould will be fairly lose to perfect just by the completion of this stage and capable of producing parts as specified in the DFM.

In general, there are three phases to every mould trial:

1.) First Out of Tool (FOT): In this phase, plastic is injected into the new tool to check flow rates, cooling rates and ease of opening including checking for flash or any other injection moulding anomalies. The mould design or flow rates of resin may be altered if this stage is not deemed a success.

2.) Customer Review: A small sample of parts will be manufactured and then sent to the customer for approval. If these parts reach the customer’s quality standards, then the tool is ready for final testing.

3.) Final Optimisation: The tool is nearly ready for mass production. The parts produced in Phase 2 are carefully studied to ensure they meet all of the parameters of the DFM and any further, minor adjustments are made. The tool is now ready to produce perfect parts for the rest of its lifetime!

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