SIGMA Engineering GmbH

SIGMA Engineering presents Virtual Molding Technology at K 2013

Virtual Molding with SIGMASOFT® represents a profitable and time-saving alternative to reproduce the injection molding process virtually, with all its relevant factors through several cycles, and therefore to reduce iterations on the machine.

A newly developed functionality in SIGMASOFT® significantly reduces production costs and strengthens injection molders in the development chain

The start-up production of new parts in injection molding is always linked to extensive mold trials and iteration. Virtual Molding, from SIGMASOFT®, changes this fundamentally as it offers an economic and time-effective alternative to conduct virtual injection molding trials and part try-outs totally independent from machine occupation and personnel availability.

Aachen, October 16th 2013 – SIGMA Engineering GmbH, Aachen, Germany, presents at the K 2013, hall 13, booths A01 and A08, a new technology which significantly reduces the production costs in injection molding and offers injection molders the possibility to effectively bring their know-how early into the development process. Under the name Virtual Molding a new method has been developed, which reproduces virtually the complete injection molding process up to the very detail with the software SIGMASOFT® and therefore reduces substantially the processing efforts at the machine and the linked material, personal, processing and energy costs.

“Virtual Molding is not only a completely new technology”, explains Dr. Marco Thornagel, Executive Director at SIGMA: “Above all, Virtual Molding is a whole new method. The injection molder gets from us a tool to communicate his know-how through the complete development process in a comprehensive way. He gains certainty in his planning, improves his confidence to engage on deadlines and the quality towards his customers, and strengthens therefore his position as a value-added partner”.

When a new plastic part is developed, each station in the development chain takes responsibility for its own field. The designer takes care of the article geometry and the mechanical part properties, often involving the use of injection molding simulation. The mold designer takes care of the mold mechanics, steel selection, centering, etc., and the injection molder has at the end the responsibility to produces plastic parts with the mold already developed, up to the required quality standards and even generating a profit. Oft enough the mistakes of the complete development process appear only at the injection molding stage, where the time and cost pressure is imminent and the position of the converter towards his customers gets compromised. For the injection molder it is therefore absolutely necessary to bring his know-how early enough into the development process. Precisely these are cases where Virtual Molding adds value.

“You can imagine Virtual Molding as a virtual injection molding machine”, explains Dr. Thornagel. “It clearly demonstrates the effects of the injection molding process related to article and mold quality. Up to now, the only way to get good parts was to stay in front of the machine and to vary parameters with the mold already built until the parts fulfilled the quality requirements. With virtual Molding this optimization will take place long before the steel is cut. How much real iteration can you afford nowadays? The planning and optimization of the injection molding process in parallel to the geometry design and the mold development makes troubleshooting at the end superfluous. Processing problems can be identified and resolved, before they even appear. Herewith we offer a new possibility to reduce development time and to minimize risks. For our customers this is an appealing offer, particularly considering global competition.”

A further important advantage: with the demonstration of all process parameters and its consequences in the injection molding process on the screen, at any time and any location from mold and part, the process turns far clearer. Many effects which in the practice do not find any explanation, will find their real causes based on the physical information about the flowing and cooling effects of the plastic material. “After our first installations in the industry we have realized that the communication within a company now flows in a different way: the processing engineer can show the mold maker where the exact cause for a tempering problem originates and which solving approaches are realistic from the production point of view. Or the designer can understand early why a part concept is not viable due to production reasons”, claims Dr. Thornagel. “It is not an overstatement to say that Virtual Molding can change the way a company does business”.