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Scientific Injection Molding & Advanced Plastic Injection Molding

Each core manufacturing department in Matrix Tool’s molding operation is managed by a degreed plastics engineer. With over a dozen degreed Plastics and Mechanical Engineers positioned throughout the company, working in conjunction with a talented group of Mold Designers, Journeyman Tool Makers, Processors, Inspectors and other skilled support staff, we have an incredible amount of technical expertise to solve our customers’ most challenging projects. Our approach is systematic, scientific and proven. Matrix Tool is considered the technology leader by our customers.

Extremely capable, solutions-based leader in the Industry.  We cannot compliment them enough regarding capability, quality and service.

— Mark, Global Sourcing Manager

Matrix uses Scientific Injection Molding principles in both our Advanced Injection Molding Room and our Advanced Micro Injection Molding rooms. We apply an engineering-based approach to each step of the injection molding process. This is comparable to using a 5S approach to all phases of the molding cycle: Fill, Pack, Hold, Recovery, Cooling and Part Handling.

The Right Tools, the Right Process

Throughout the entire Matrix facility, you will find the extensive use of RJG’s eDART® Systems monitoring and controlling processes via in-mold cavity pressure transducers. The highly detailed molding process information from each machine is networked for ease of use and management through our eDART® Data Manager (EDM) software. This technology allows Matrix to use the most advanced method of process control and repeatability, Decoupled III (D3) molding.

If you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got.

— Henry Ford

Matrix engineers have received RJG’s Master Molder® I and II certifications. They oversee the implementation of this technology while performing our in-house training. All our mold processors, molding technicians and Quality department staff go through an RJG training course. We're very experienced with this processing technology—not only to use it in-house, but also to guide our customers in its proper use and implementation as well.

D2 Vs. D3 Basics

At Matrix, a decoupled process means the injection rate you wish to achieve and maintain is not coupled, or limited, by the pressure available. The injection pressure is set slightly higher than is required to achieve the desired fill speed, and the machine is free to use the pressure it needs to do so. If you fill too far under these conditions, then you risk flashing, and possibly damaging the mold.

Better Molding Process

At a minimum, all competent injection molding processers should start with the foundation of a Decoupled II (D2) process. This is a process developed by applying the Scientific Molding (scientific method) approach. In D2, all process settings are managed through the machine’s controls. A fast filling rate is used resulting in optimum melt viscosity, which helps to promote optimal pressure transfer throughout the cavity.

First stage injection occurs until the part is almost filled to right at fill, so as not over pressurize, and possibly damage, the mold. Second stage injection then occurs at a much lower pressure to finish filling the part, packing the part (compressing plastic into the mold), and holding the part (holding the compressed material in place until the gate has frozen). How to control the injection molding process after first stage filling is an area of focus at Matrix Tool.

Taking Molding to the Next Level

A part of Decoupled III (D3) processing requires splitting the second stage injection into separate pack and hold phases. This affords much greater control of a most critical part of the injection process, which is what occurs during the pack phase. D3 also decouples the packing phase. This allows for much more accurate control of the injection rate at its most critical, split moment – that slight distance of screw travel between first stage fill and when the cavity fill is complete and pressurized.

With D2 processing, when balancing between short shots and flash, this all happens during the pack phase. But the control of the pack phase is severely limited by both the process and machine. That “little bit of control” means that there is not enough control where it’s needed most.

Real World D3 Constraints

There are instances where D3 processing isn’t feasible due to customer-driven constraints beyond our control. In those instances, Matrix employs our own advanced processing techniques to ensure our processes are more repeatable with less risk than a traditional D2 process affords. This helps us to ensure we provide our customers a higher level of quality products than they are able to receive from others or even themselves. Ask us for more details! Contact Us

Overall, Matrix is a world class supplier with excellent technical support, technology and business processes. Matrix is a tremendous partner to have in our supply chain.

— Mike, Principal Plastics Engineer

Next Level Consistency

Using D3 processing affords the processor more control of the packing phase – the degree of pack through a significantly improved control of the V►P, the velocity-to-pressure transfer that now occurs at a set cavity pressure between the packing and holding phases. Through the use of in-mold pressure sensing technology, the pressure is reported at an exact place inside the mold based on where the cavity pressure sensor is located.

These sensors are optimally placed within the mold cavities at just inside the gate and at the last place to fill. By using the in cavity pressure sensors they provide instantaneous feedback to the users and the press. By using preset set points and limits, once the exact pressure inside the cavity is achieved, the sensor triggers the press to switch from pack to hold.

The hold pressure is maintained until gate freeze occurs. Gate freeze can be seen clearly in the cavity pressure graphs provided via the eDART®. All of this happens in real time on each molding cycle with incredible accuracy and repeatability. By using Decoupled III processing we’re able to establish a process that automatically adjusts itself to account for material viscosity variations or numerous other variables that occur due to the dynamic nature of the injection molding process.

Know Before You Know

Through the use of RJG technology with the Matrix manufacturing process, before the mold opens our automated work cells know whether the parts are good or bad. During each molding cycle, data is continuously monitored from the in-cavity sensors. If process parameters are outside the control limits, suspect parts exit to a diverter chute and go into a red bin at the back side of the machine. All presses are monitored in real time—minimizing both reaction time and downtime of the press.

Impossible Parts Made Possible

Matrix Tool manufactures extremely complex, thin wall parts using highly filled, engineering grade resins. Just filling the part in a multi-cavity mold is often a challenge. The processing window is so narrow that we’re often on the knife's edge between no-fill and flash. RJG technology is a perfect fit for these types of products. Matrix has also implemented specialized vision and thermal scanning equipment to further supplement quality assurance of mission critical parts.

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For a basic summary of all our injection molding machines, please click the following hyperlink to view, print or download our IMM Overview Platen Chart.

For more detailed specifications on each molding press, please click the following hyperlink to view, print or download our IMM Detailed Platen Chart.

Additional Information:

If you are interested in obtaining additional information about Matrix Tool’s Injection Molding Services, please Contact Us!