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200 ton injection molding machine

time:2018-07-04 10:14:46 From: Clark

 Hamilton, Ohio -- After four years of secrecy, U.S. consumer products giant Procter & Gamble Co. is pulling back the veil on its Imflux process -- an injection molding technology that uses low, constant pressure to fill the mold, controlled by software and pressure sensors in the mold and the nozzle.

P&G, a $65 billion company with a stable of global brands including Gillette, Head & Shoulders, Crest, Tide, and Swiffer, has formed a 150-employee business unit, Imflux, where it's developed new molding technology that it's begun licensing to the industry.

P&G officials have been tight-lipped since forming Imflux Inc. in 2013, but are now starting to give out details at industry events.

They drew back the curtain for a visit by Plastics News on Sept. 21 at its 200,000-square-foot headquarters in Hamilton, a northern suburb of Cincinnati. There, employees design and make molds for Imflux, working with customers and further refining the molding technology.

In some ways, Imflux executives said, the process turns traditional injection molding upside down.

"It's a low, no-hesitating, constant pressure," said Gene Altonen, chief technology officer of Imflux.

Altonen, a 27-year veteran of P&G and an injection molding expert, said: "Imflux is making real-time adjustments for viscosity shifts, whether it's the material, the temperature or something in the mold. It is going to make these changes in real time, which gives you a more stable process."

Imflux stands standard injection molding on its head -- with its tradition of high-speed, high-pressure injection and the crossover point to pack-and-hold.

"We do these phases of the process simultaneously. We're filling and we're packing and we're cooling all simultaneously. And because we're doing that, when we finish filling the mold, it's basically a done part," Altonen said. A thicker part may need some additional cooling, but that is dramatically reduced, he said.

"You're not putting the shear and the heat in," Altonen said. Compared to traditional injection molding, he said, Imflux cuts mold costs, reduces cycle time and allows molds to run on smaller machines, cutting capital investment costs because the molder needs fewer presses.

The company said it relies on proprietary software and different types of sensors it adds to the press and the mold.

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