Silgan Closures provides closures in more than 50 countries across the globe. Their closures are used on beverage cartons, and plastic bottles, the closures need to be suitable for hot-filled and cold-filled drinks, be tamper-proof and resealable.
Agemaspark has worked with Silgan Closures for more than 18 years on conventional moulding tooling for their plastic injection moulding components.
Following an EU directive to change to tethered caps for drinks cartons we discussed making new mould tools with a view to improving the manufacturing process.
In one plant, the company has multiple machines meaning the overall savings if this technology was implemented across the whole factory would be significant, however, to replace all the mould tools across the plant would require significant capital investment, so we have also developed a halfway solution.
We can take their existing tooling and inserts and cut the top of the cores and reprint a conformal cooled top where the channels are connected to the existing waterways but this allows the surface cooling to be more effective and the costs to gain this advantage would be more acceptable in the short term. Then as the results are shown to be effective when the next tools are required as parts change or require new inserts the redesign of the tooling can take full advantage of the technical advantages of 3D printed conformal cooling design.
The introduction of a new European directive meant that plastic closures needed to be tethered to bottles and drinks cartons to prevent them from being separately discarded. This legislation required that plastic closures needed to be redesigned to meet this criteria.
Silgan Closures were looking to produce single impression trial tools to fit the new directive and to test a unique tether design, along with any additional benefit of any cost reduction of the components.
Agemaspark offered Silgan the use of our 2-imp conformal cooling trial tool to be the focus of the cap and cover. Our trial tool was created with caps in mind as this high-volume product fits very well with the advantages of conformal cooling.
From our previous very successful UK Innovate Grant project this tool produced results that proved the introduction of conformal cooled cores and cavities would produce a reduction of cycle time by up to 20% and a reduction in the energy consumption therefore giving returns that wouldn’t previously have been possible.
Our solution found a way to save energy, using our conformal cooling technology we can reduce cycle time by up to 2 seconds.
The key benefits were:
- The production of the inserts was quicker to make than conventional parts with just 1 single drilled hole. With the surface cooling all around the moulding profile the parts can also be processed faster, reducing the cycle time.
- The quality of the parts is increased because the polymer cures faster. This equates to an overall cycle time reduction of up to 20%.
- Because the cooling channels are much smaller they don’t require the volume of cooling fluid that a standard conventional tool needs, so future designs will allow the tools to be much smaller or double the cavitation in the existing mould envelope.
- All of this reduces the energy required to make the volume of parts needed.
Agemaspark have been an approved tooling supplier to our business for a number of years – ranging from new production tooling, to the requalification of existing tooling, to pilot and prototype tooling – all for the food and beverage FMCG caps and closures market.At all times their work is of the highest quality, within budget and within schedule.Agemaspark’s willingness to invest in the latest technology – especially 3D metal printing – has allowed us to significantly reduce the design and development time on new projects, especially with the new European Union tethering directive coming into effect in July 2024.Paul and his team are friendly, always conduct themselves in a professional manner, and are a pleasure to work with on projects. We look forward to continuing this partnership for many years to come.