StackTeck showcases innovations in cooling and thin-wall molding technologies

StackTeck Systems Ltd. (Brampton, ON, Canada) has gained fame through its innovative mold technologies that set the company apart from other custom mold manufacturers. To prove it, StackTeck is showcasing its new KoolTrack cooling technology at NPE2015 (booth W-1375).

StackTeckAccording to Jordan Robertson, General Manager of Business Development and Marketing, “KoolTrack is the culmination of multiple developments, combining our ability to simulate heat transfer in the part and molding surface components with a new proprietary bonding technology. Using the latest available heat-transfer simulation software enables us to establish the optimal 3D cooling channel geometry for any plastic part. Introducing the bonding process in the manufacture of molding surface components allows for intricate cooling channels to be cut in steel parts that are then bonded together to make cores and cavities that have ideal cooling circuits inside.”

StackTeck is showing a static display of a stack component for cutlery, with a section cut away to expose the internal complexity of the component.

“We’ve been using different approaches to conformal cooling of simpler parts for several years,” said Vince Travaglini Vice President of Engineering, “and we typically find cycle time savings in the range of 10 to 15% for sub-10-second cycle times. As cooling simulation techniques become more effective, we can generate optimal cooling channel geometry at the design stage of the project for increasingly complex plastic parts.

“Conventional designs use drilled lines or multiple parts that would fit together with o-rings to seal the cooling channels; however, we started bonding parts together using a variety of processes. Today, based on experience with over 100 molds, we have fine-tuned our approach, and we can rely on an established proprietary bonding process that is as strong as the steel material itself,” Travaglini explained. “In the end, it’s as if we removed the constraints of conventional machining and added artistic freedom to apply cooling wherever it’s needed inside a single block of steel.”

Also on display at the StackTeck booth is the company’s Thin Recess Injection Molding (TRIM) technology for molding thin-wall parts. Ultra-thin panels covering 90% of the overall surface area allow lightweighting of parts. Conventional thin-wall part designs molded in high cavitation systems are typically limited to an L/T ratio (length of flow to average thickness) of 300 or less. However, by using TRIM, the ultra-thin panels can be molded at a thickness corresponding to an L/T of 600. Pushed to the limit, TRIM technology has been demonstrated to lightweight conventional thin-wall designs by 30 to 40% of part weight, says the company.

“We had our first commercial TRIM application for a round container mold in 2014,” Henry Rozema, Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “Our customer, SriThai Superware, ordered new core components for an existing mold, and they were able to produce the part in the original injection molding machine, but with a much smaller shot size. In that case, they realized 36% lightweighting, while the top load strength of the part declined by only 10%. So the project was technically a home-run, with StackTeck and SriThai winning an award from the IMDA (In-Mold Decorating Association) for Best Thinwall Packaging.”

On display at NPE is a single cavity mold for a 32-oz tamper-evident rectangular container, which has ultra-thin-wall panels covering 90% of the sidewall and bottom areas. The average L/T ratio of the overall part is 520. IML samples are on display, as well. StackTeck partnered with Verstraete, which provided the labels, and Braskem, which supplied the TI68000WV (80 MFI impact copolymer PP) resin, to produce the samples that are on display.

StackTeck supplies a range of injection molds used to produce plastic parts in applications such as caps, closures, medical, and thin-wall packaging; as well as complete system integration, in-mold labeling systems and mold bases. StackTeck has dedicated R&D, testing and part sampling facilities, in addition to plastic part design, prototyping, engineering and manufacturing capabilities.