Vision System Prevents Injection Molding Tool Damage and Improves Part Quality

At TNT Plastic Molding, located in Anaheim, California, USA, when an injection molding operation is completed, pins on the movable side of the mold push the part out of the mold. Occasionally, however, a part sticks in the mold. In the past, the operator was responsible for checking the mold after each cycle to ensure the part was removed. Sometimes, the operator did not notice that the part had not been ejected—and the typical result was $14,000 in damage to the mold. TNT Plastic Molding has overcome this problem by using a mold monitoring system developed by A.S.K. Technologies, Yorba Linda, California, USA, that inspects the mold before it closes to be sure that the part has been ejected. The mold monitoring system utilizes the Cognex In-Sight® vision system, which was trained in minutes simply by taking images of the mold in the proper condition without a part. The vision system now checks the mold for the presence of the part on every cycle, eliminating the risk of damage to the mold. The mold monitoring system has also improved quality by enabling the press to run in automatic mode, which increases cycle time consistency. “We were interested in taking human error out of the equation in order to improve quality and reduce costs,” said Murray Anderson, Director of Sales and Marketing for TNT Molding. “We had noticed that the performance of vision systems designed for injection molding had improved at the same time their cost was being reduced. We selected A.S.K. Technologies’ mold monitoring system because their system is very easy to program for a wide range of mold monitoring applications including insert molding, short shots, part presence or absence, runner presence or absence and before and after shot inspections. The flexibility of the system also enables many other possible applications. We were also very impressed with the cost of the mold monitoring system which, at about $10,000, is less than the cost of a single accident caused by failure of the part to eject.”


An application success story from Cognex

Tri-Phase Automation is a Cognex distributor in Wisconsin. We offer machine vision evaluations and technical support to help our customers solve their applications.