Guidelines for Selection and Justification of Computeraided Engineering (CAE) Software for Plastic Injection Molding
Serna Vázquez, Livier
The present research focuses on the use of plastic injection simulation in part design. CAE analysis for injection molding can be used at three different levels: parts design, mold design and molding process troubleshooting. Injection molded plastic parts include the following elements: material, part design, mold design and process. The injection molding process involves many considerations such as part geometry, material, mold design and process variables. The simulation module being considered in this study is the mold fill analysis (based on Cadmould, a commercial simulation system). Material, mold design, injection machine is already defined. As part of this study, complexity taxonomy for plastic parts was developed, as well as a differentiation between the engineering team involved in terms of expertise. Several information sources were used to develop a case study, which approaches a part fill time optimization. The scenario in which this optimization is made is a manufacturing plant that launches several new parts per year. These parts have different degrees of complexities. This study's main contribution is the identification and quantification of key factors regarding the cost and benefit associated with simulation for injection molding. It was concluded that the economic benefit of simulation will increase as more parts are run, whereas the level of expertise of the engineering team has a negative impact in this kind of benefit. The percentage of time saved in the case study falls between 10-30% using simulation tools.