Archive for the ‘SIGMA’ Category

The process-oriented approach of SIGMASOFT® makes it possible to use injection molding simulation of elastomer applications not only for filling or cooling times, but also the non-productive times between each process phase. When the process is simulated considering the influence of operational times occurring between the main process stages, the accuracy of the simulation is dramatically improved.

Temperature distribution in a metallic component overmolded with elastomer. Left: without consideration of the mold opening time; right: considering a mold opening time of 60s.

Schaumburg, IL, September 7, 2012 – Even though it is not necessary to include them to complete an injection molding simulation, the non-productive times have a major influence on the process and on part quality. Process Simulation Software SIGMASOFT®, from SIGMA®, can include non-productive times in the simulation enabling substantial improvement in the accuracy of the results to be achieved.

Taking into consideration the times in which the mold opens and closes, the times in which it is heated up or cleaned, as well as handling times when the inserts are placed simulation makes it possible to accurately analyze the process cycle. The interaction between all mold components has to be considered and cycle times have to be predicted accurately. That way even factors that influence the part quality, such as the curing degree, can be predicted by the simulation.

An example is presented in Figure 1. In this case the mold temperature decreases during the time period when the mold stays open. If this time is not considered in the simulation, the prediction of the whole cycle time, as well as the prediction of the cooling time or curing degree, will be erroneous. Besides, the predicted quality of the parts produced can deviate from reality.

In SIGMASOFT®, such non-productive times can be defined and varied separately in the simulation. Therefore, besides calculating the whole cycle, it is also possible to perform trouble-shooting of problems at each of the production stages. Through the utilization of simulation it is possible to decide if changes in the process definition are enough to solve production problems, or if the mold has to be reworked to achieve the desired quality and productivity goals.

SIGMA® (www.sigmasoft.de) is 100% owned by MAGMA® (www.magmasoft.de), the world market leader in casting process simulation technology based in Aachen, Germany. Our SIGMASOFT® process simulation solution optimizes the manufacturing process for injection molded plastic components. SIGMASOFT® combines the 3D geometry of the parts and runners with the complete mold assembly and temperature control system and incorporates the actual production process to develop a turnkey injection mold with an optimized process.

At SIGMA® and MAGMA®, our goal is to help our customers achieve required part quality during the first trial. The two product lines – injection molded polymers and metal castings – share the same 3D simulation technologies focused on the simultaneous optimization of design and process. SIGMASOFT® thus includes a variety of process-specific models and 3D simulation methods developed, validated and constantly improved for over 25 years. A process-driven simulation tool, SIGMASOFT®, with its comprehensive simulation approach, provides a tremendous benefit to production facilities. Imagine your business when every mold you build produces required quality the first time, every time. That is our goal. This technology cannot be compared to any other conventional “Design” simulation approach employed in plastics injection molding.

New product success requires a different communication between designs, materials, and processes that design simulation is not meant for. SIGMASOFT® provides this communication. SIGMA® support engineers, with 450 years of combined technical education and practical experience, can support your engineering goals with applications specific solutions. SIGMA® offers direct sales, engineering, training, implementation, and support, by plastics engineers worldwide.

For more information:

Christof Heisser or Matt Proske

SIGMA Plastic Services, Inc.

10 N. Martingale Road, Suite 425

Schaumburg, IL 60173

Phone: 847-558-5600

Email: contact@3dsigma.com

Web: www.3dsigma.com

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With the process-oriented approach of SIGMASOFT®, the injection molding simulation for elastomers is no longer limited to predicting the cavity filling while designing the part or to answer questions regarding a balanced filling. Based on an accurate simulation of the curing reaction (vulcanization), it can be used for designing the mold, identifying process windows and troubleshooting during production.

The process-oriented approach of the Injection Molding Simulation Software SIGMASOFT® allows for the easy and exact consideration of all relevant information regarding mold and process into the calculation, beyond the part and runner geometry.

Schaumburg, IL, July 25, 2012 – At the recent DKT Conference in Nuremburg, Germany, SIGMA Engineering GmbH, Aachen, presented the latest functionality expansions of its 3D Injection Molding Simulation Software SIGMASOFT®. The focus of the presentation was the software’s ability to reduce development and production costs through new developments in process simulation.

Many factors in elastomer injection molding have an influence on product quality and costs. To ensure a competitive advantage, the whole manufacturing process must be considered. Since the design stage has the largest influence over the total costs of a part, this is where the savings start with SIGMASOFT®.

By using process simulation, feasibility and rough process parameters can be evaluated. Parting line and venting channels can be worked out, as well as the optimal type and positioning of the injection drop point. Where are weld-lines acceptable? Where do they need to be avoided? Do inserts need pre-heating? Which level of vulcanization should be reached and how much time and what temperature are needed to achieve this level? Important factors regarding part quality are optimized in this way, through the algorithms in the software.

A mold, which will be used for producing the part, can now be developed. Decisions must be made at this point, which can incur substantial costs: How many cavities can be designed in the mold (clamping force and required pressure)? How should the runner system be designed to obtain balanced cavity filling and the same compound quality in every cavity? Is there need for a cold runner? What heat-output is needed and how must the heating system be configured? Are the heated clamping plates adequate? Where should control points for the tempering be positioned?

The simulation is able to answer all these questions and allows reaching the desired quality with minimal effort (time and energy). In this way, the process stability is guaranteed before the mold is even built. Costs can be reduced significantly during development and existing processes can continue to be improved. This is all accomplished while substantially reducing rejects and material waste, thereby getting to the first good part much faster.

The latest developments in the software’s thermal solver allows for the exact integration of all mold components. As a result, an accurate reproduction of the real temperature profile in the mold is possible, even over multiple injection molding cycles. The simulation definition is optimized for the requirements of process engineers, so that complex detail questions can be examined from a practical perspective without requiring extensive knowledge of simulation software. For example, it can be determined how heating cartridges influence mold temperature and part quality, simulating them with their respective electric power and control.

SIGMA® (www.sigmasoft.de) is 100% owned by MAGMA® (www.magmasoft.de), the world market leader in casting process simulation technology based in Aachen, Germany. Our SIGMASOFT® process simulation solution optimizes the manufacturing process for injection molded plastic components. SIGMASOFT® combines the 3D geometry of the parts and runners with the complete mold assembly and temperature control system and incorporates the actual production process to develop a turnkey injection mold with an optimized process.

At SIGMA® and MAGMA®, our goal is to help our customers achieve required part quality during the first trial. The two product lines – injection molded polymers and metal castings – share the same 3D simulation technologies focused on the simultaneous optimization of design and process. SIGMASOFT® thus includes a variety of process-specific models and 3D simulation methods developed, validated and constantly improved for over 25 years. A process-driven simulation tool, SIGMASOFT®, with its comprehensive simulation approach, provides a tremendous benefit to production facilities. Imagine your business when every mold you build produces required quality the first time, every time. That is our goal. This technology cannot be compared to any other conventional “Design” simulation approach employed in plastics injection molding.

New product success requires a different communication between designs, materials, and processes that design simulation is not meant for. SIGMASOFT® provides this communication. SIGMA® support engineers, with 450 years of combined technical education and practical experience, can support your engineering goals with applications specific solutions. SIGMA® offers direct sales, engineering, training, implementation, and support, by plastics engineers worldwide.

For more information:

Christof Heisser or Matt Proske

SIGMA Plastic Services, Inc.

10 N. Martingale Road, Suite 425

Schaumburg, IL 60173

Phone: 847-558-5600

Email: contact@3dsigma.com

Web: www.3dsigma.com

Thanks to a completely reengineered solver technology and a revolutionary meshing concept, with SIGMASOFT® Version 5.0, the simulation time required in elastomer applications can be reduced by up to 80%. With this dramatic speed-up, simulation can now be integrated in the elastomer processing on a daily-basis, both for part design and process troubleshooting. 

Figure 1 –With the new solver technology and the use of “unstructured meshes,” SIGMASOFT® Version 5.0 reduces the calculation time by up to 80% in the simulation of elastomer injection applications.

Schaumburg, IL, July 25, 2012 – At the DKT conference in Nuremberg, Sigma Engineering GmbH, Aachen, presented SIGMASOFT® Version 5.0, the latest release of its process-oriented simulation software. With a completely reengineered solver technology and a new meshing concept, calculation times have been dramatically reduced, while keeping all the advantages of accuracy and user friendliness of a complete 3D-simulation approach.

“With SIGMASOFT® Version 5.0, we have achieved a major breakthrough in injection molding simulation,” explains Dr. Marco Thornagel, Executive Manager at Sigma. “Some years ago, users had to wait sometimes days to get the results of a simulation. It was not viable to use simulation to support every-day production activities, or to quickly optimize products. Now, however, simulation can be part of the daily production tools used in the mold shop or in the production floor, to deliver reliable and profitable answers both to design new products and to optimize existing molds.”

SIGMASOFT® is still the only option available in the market to seamlessly integrate all elements in the mold within the simulation. Thanks to the implementation of “Finite Volume” numerical methods, not only can the cavity be considered in the simulation, but also the complete real mold configuration, including tempering channels, heating elements and inserts. SIGMASOFT® is and has always been based exclusively in 3D technology, developed over a quarter century. The mesh required to conduct the simulation is generated effortlessly by the user in only minutes, without requiring any manual optimization.

The new meshing technique in the latest version of the software uses “unstructured meshes.” These are basically “intelligent meshes,” which can automatically mesh finer regions where complex thermal and flow phenomena take place, such as part boundaries, thin walls or complex runner systems. It also can save mesh elements in regions where fewer interactions take place, such as mold boundaries. The calculation effort is reduced and the productivity of the software increases.

Through parallelization, the new solver architecture makes it possible to exploit the complete potential of multi-core technology in state-of-the-technology computers. Beyond a significant reduction in computational time, the technology now allows users to simulate more complicated injection molding processes. This will be now the focus of further developments in the software, according to Sigma sources.

For further information on this story, please contact:

Matt Proske

SIGMA Plastic Services, Inc.

10 N. Martingale Road, Suite 425

Schaumburg, IL 60173

Phone: 847-558-5600

Email: contact@3dsigma.com

Web: www.3dsigma.com

 

Using a completely 3D-approach and the integration of a highly developed thermal solver, the injection molding simulation software SIGMASOFT® allows the calculation of multiple consecutive production cycles, considering the thermal interactions throughout all the components in the mold. The accuracy of the entire simulation is thus dramatically increased. 

Figure 1 – The multi-cycle analysis of SIGMASOFT® allows simulating the heat transfer in the mold from start-up over multiple production cycles, and thus exactly reproduces the real production conditions in the cavity. Left: Temperature distribution in a half of the mold cavity after one cycle. Right: Temperature distribution after 15 cycles.

Schaumburg, Illinois – SIGMA® Plastic Services presented its SIGMASOFT® software designed for 3D injection molding process simulation at the recent Euromold 2011, hall 8, stand A 101. One of the highlights of the presentation was the SIGMASOFT® unique functionality of its “multi-cycle analysis”, a new benchmark in injection molding simulation.

“In conventional injection molding software, a fixed mold temperature is defined and the whole simulation is carried out under the assumption that this value remains constant over time”, explained Dr. Marco Thornagel, Executive Director of SIGMA® Engineering. “In reality, however, you have a very complex thermal process taking place within the mold: the steel is cooled with a tempering system, the mold is heated when the hot polymer melt enters the cavity and there is a loss of thermal energy towards the surrounding environment. All governed by the heat transfer properties of the materials present throughout the system: polymer melt, runner system, inserts, mold, isolation materials. Only when these complex interactions are considered will the real production conditions be reproduced in the simulation. And our customers really appreciate that we already have 25 years of experience in how to make this kind of simulation, with a user friendly meshing algorithm,” observed Dr. Thornagel.

The 3D-approach of SIGMASOFT® allows all the components in a mold, including all the thermal and physical properties of each one of them, to be exactly reproduced. Therefore, the heat transfer process can be accurately calculated between each one of the components.

To accurately simulate the production conditions, the heat transfer process taking place in reality must be exactly reproduced in the simulation. This includes the heat-up during the start-up of the machine, when the mold is heated from room temperature to its production conditions (typically between 60º and 120°C) by the tempering system. It also includes the warming up produced by the hot polymer melt over several consecutive pre-production cycles, as happens in actual run conditions.

SIGMASOFT® is able to exactly reproduce the heat-up stage, as well as simulate the thermal evolution of the mold over multiple consecutive production cycles. This accurate calculation predicts the real temperature in each location of the mold during production, producing a condition that more closely reflects reality for the polymer as it sets inside the cavity. This allows the software, for example, to predict how long the polymer remains in a fluid condition so that post-pressure can be applied, or where will the thermally induced deformation most likely compromise the part quality.

Another of the advantages of multi-cycle simulation is the possibility to calculate how many production cycles are required for the mold to achieve cyclic equilibrium – and thus consistent quality conditions over a production run. Therefore, the number of parts required before the actual production begins can be more accurately predicted. The system can be optimized to minimize the number of pre-production parts that are required. Another possibility is to compare the efficiency of different tempering systems to understand how to achieve equilibrium more quickly or how to consume less energy.


SIGMA® (www.sigmasoft.de) is 100% owned by MAGMA® (www.magmasoft.de), the world market leader in casting process simulation technology based in Aachen, Germany. Our SIGMASOFT® process simulation solution optimizes the manufacturing process for injection molded plastic components. SIGMASOFT® combines the 3D geometry of the parts and runners with the complete mold assembly and temperature control system and incorporates the actual production process to develop a turnkey injection mold with an optimized process.

At SIGMA® and MAGMA®, our goal is to help our customers achieve required part quality during the first trial. The two product lines – injection molded polymers and metal castings – share the same 3D simulation technologies focused on the simultaneous optimization of design and process. SIGMASOFT® thus includes a variety of process-specific models and 3D simulation methods developed, validated and constantly improved for over 25 years. A process-driven simulation tool, SIGMASOFT®, with its comprehensive simulation approach, provides a tremendous benefit to production facilities. Imagine your business when every mold you build produces required quality the first time, every time. That is our goal. This technology cannot be compared to any other conventional “Design” simulation approach employed in plastics injection molding.

New product success requires a different communication between designs, materials, and processes that design simulation is not meant for. SIGMASOFT® provides this communication. SIGMA® support engineers, with 450 years of combined technical education and practical experience, can support your engineering goals with applications specific solutions. SIGMA® offers direct sales, engineering, training, implementation, and support, by plastics engineers worldwide.

For further information on this announcement, interested parties should contact:

Christof Heisser or Matt Proske

SIGMA Plastic Services, Inc.

10 N. Martingale Road, Suite 425

Schaumburg, Illinois 60173

USA

Phone:  +1 847 558 5600

Email:  cheisser@3dsigma.com or mproske@3dsigma.com

Web: www.3dsigma.com

Agency contact for SIGMA:

Wendy McCormick

Bernard & Company

Palatine, Illinois (Chicago)

USA

+1 847 934 4500

wendy@bernardandcompany.com

www.bernardandcompany.com


With aid of the interface SIGMALINK®, the weld lines predicted with the injection molding simulation software SIGMASOFT® can now be mapped into Finite Element Analysis Software and be considered in the structural design of injection molded parts

The tracer technology in SIGMASOFT® allows visualizing the fully 3D profile of weld lines over the part thickness. With SIGMALINK this information can now be mapped into structural FEA.

Schaumburg, IL – Sigma Plastic Services, presents a new functionality of its injection molding simulation software SIGMASOFT®. The simulation of the cavity filling in injection molding allows identifying regions where weld lines are formed, not only on the surface but also through the part’s thickness, with a completely 3D approach. With the interface SIGMALINK® it is now possible to transfer this 3D information into FEA (Finite Element Analysis) Software, to consider the drop in mechanical properties in these regions when performing structural design. A particular advantage of SIGMASOFT® is the fully 3D prediction of the weld lines, which reproduces the weld regions not only on the surface, but also through the part’s thickness, as it occurs in reality.

Weld lines occur as a consequence of the collision of two (or more) flow fronts in the cavity of a mold. This disruption in the homogeneity of the injection molded part causes optical defects, which compromise the surface quality, but also produces a weakening from the mechanical point of view and, under certain circumstances, weld lines can even act as stress concentrators. Therefore, there is a loss in the mechanical properties in the regions where weld lines appear.

Using the “tracer” technology, which has been available for years in SIGMASOFT®, the appearance of weld lines can be reproduced during the filling stage. The location of the weld lines can be described precisely and an indication is given regarding how critical they are. The formation of the weld lines during the filling stage and the way they flow as the packing pressure is applied are predicted accurately in a 3D approach.

The interface SIGMALINK enables exporting (mapping) physical and flow-related properties into commercial software for FEA (such as Ansys, Abaqus, Radios, etc.). Factors such as flow and thermal induced stresses and fiber orientation can be considered in the FEA. With a further expansion of SIGMALINK® it is now possible to export the information about the final position and 3D profile of the weld lines in the structural FEA. In this way, the drop in the mechanical properties produced by the apparition of weld lines can also be considered in the mechanical part design.

In Figure 1 the formation of a weld line region in SIGMASOFT® is presented. The flow front is depicted in grey. The “tracer” particles in orange show clearly that the melt fronts do not collide in a flat region, but that this weld line has a complex 3D profile at the end of the filling and packaging phases.


 

SIGMA (www.sigmasoft.de) is 100% owned by MAGMA (www.magmasoft.de), the market leader in casting process simulation technology based in Aachen, Germany. Our SIGMASOFT® process simulation solution optimizes the manufacturing process for injection molded plastic components. SIGMASOFT® combines the 3D geometry of the parts and runners with the complete mold assembly and temperature control system and incorporates the actual production process to develop a turnkey injection mold and optimized process.

At SIGMA and MAGMA, our goal is to help our customers achieve required part quality during the first trial. The two product lines – injection molded polymers and metal castings – share the same 3D simulation technologies focused on the simultaneous optimization of design and process. SIGMASOFT® thus includes a variety of process-specific models and 3D simulation methods developed, validated and constantly improved for over 25 years. A process-driven simulation tool, SIGMASOFT®, with its comprehensive simulation approach, provides a tremendous benefit to production facilities. Imagine your business when every mold you use produces required quality the first time, every time. That is our goal. This technology cannot be compared to any other conventional “Design” simulation approach employed in plastics injection molding.

New product success requires a different communication between designs, materials, and processes that design simulation is not meant for. SIGMASOFT® provides this communication. SIGMA support engineers, with 450 years of combined technical education and practical experience, can support your engineering goals with applications specific solutions. SIGMA offers direct sales, engineering, training, implementation, and support, by plastics engineers worldwide.

For further information on this announcement, interested parties should contact:

Christof Heisser or Matt Proske

SIGMA Plastic Services, Inc.

10 N. Martingale Road, Suite 425

Schaumburg, Illinois 60173

USA

Phone:  +1 847 558 5600

Email:  cheisser@3dsigma.com or mproske@3dsigma.com

Web: www.3dsigma.com

Agency contact for SIGMA:

Wendy McCormick

Bernard & Company

Palatine, Illinois (Chicago)

USA

+1 847 934 4500

wendy@bernardandcompany.com

www.bernardandcompany.com