Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 24

Moulds & tooling

Hybrid additive manufacturing
makes fast work of complex tools
A new toolmaking approach promises
shorter lead times and an easier way
to produce conformal cooling channels
and other complex mould features, as
Marcel Gowers of OGM explained to
Plastics News Europe.

S

peed is of the essence in the
production of injection moulded components. Manufacturers
need to get their designs from concept to production as quickly as possible, so they can be first to market
with new products and innovative
ideas. And once their machines start
running, moulders want the shortest
possible cycle time to maximise productivity and keep unit costs down.
Mould tooling can be a critical
rate-limiting step both before and
during production. The manufacture
of mould tools suitable for the
high-volume production of complex
parts is a time-intensive process, with
lead times of up to four months between design sign-off and first part
production. And the performance of
a tool, especially its ability to cool
parts effectively prior to ejection, determines the cycle time, quality and
overall productivity of the moulding
process.
UK-based plastic moulding specialist OGM is using a new manufacturing technology that is delivering
significant benefits in both lead time
reduction and tool performance.

OGM says that its new approach allows customers to obtain steel tools
suitable for high volume production
in as little as four weeks, less than a
third of the time required for conventional toolmaking. In addition, the
technology provides a new way to
manufacture
conformal
cooling
channels, which can improve the inmould cooling of complex parts significantly, boosting quality and cutting moulding cycle times by up to 20
percent.

Two technologies, one
machine
At the heart of the approach is the
company's hybrid metal additive
manufacturing and machining technology, the first of its kind to be installed the UK. This technology combines additive manufacturing using
direct metal laser sintering with conventional CNC machining in an integrated build process. The system

builds mould features from powder
material layer by layer using a laser.
After each layer is added, an automated secondary machining process
rapidly removes excess material to
generate the finished geometry of
the tool, resulting in extremely high
dimensional accuracy and a fine surface finish. The technology allows
core and cavity details to be manufactured automatically in one hit. The
material surface finish produced is
also very hard, avoiding the subsequent need for heat treatment to
produce production tooling. If required, a full range of textured or polished surface finishes can be applied
in secondary processes.
OGM says that its approach provides the most significant time savings for complex mould features such
as the deep, narrow slots required to
produce thin internal walls. Such features cannot be produced using a
conventional milling cutter. Instead,

Tooling

24

june 2018



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Plastics News Europe - June 2018

Contents
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - Cover1
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - Cover2
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - Contents
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 4
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 5
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 6
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 7
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 8
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 9
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 10
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 11
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 12
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Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 17
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 18
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Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 20
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 21
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 22
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Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 24
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 25
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 26
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 27
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 28
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 29
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 30
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 31
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Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 36
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 37
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 38
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Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 40
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 41
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - 42
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - Cover3
Plastics News Europe - June 2018 - Cover4
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