The final European Hipermoulding project meeting, held recently in the Netherlands, saw the launch of Hipermoulding software for thermal management in injection moulds. This R&D project, led in the UK by the Gauge and Tool Makers Association (GTMA), has been pronounced very successful by the participants in the consortium that carried it out.
The project’s three years of research, software development, and feedback from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have resulted in a very positive outcome. The new software emerging from it has already proved its worth by producing an impressive reduction in cycle times. All of the consortium members have received the final version of the Hipermoulding module.
Data collected during the research stage is used by the software to determine which rapid manufacturing technique is most appropriate for the manufacture of a component with a particular geometry and also to determine the location and shape of the cooling channels.
The effectiveness the Hipermoulding module has been verified through its use in manufacturing four real-world products that had previously been produced in the conventional way. The results of the tests were striking. In all cases, a large reduction in cycle time, varying from 12 to 32%, was realized.
In addition, cost per product was evaluated in order to verify that the use of Hipermoulds would be a good choice financially. The participating SMEs, who were mould makers or injection moulders, were pleased that this realistic approach to proving the practical benefits of the new technology was taken.
Training modules have been created, and, in this form, Hipermoulding will be delivered over the next few months to users in Belgium, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, and the UK.