A Doncaster business has used its innovative 3D metal printing solution to create mould tools reducing energy consumption and water requirements for a product that will be used worldwide.
Precision engineering experts, Agemaspark, invested in 3D metal printing technology which when combined with its unique conformal cooling technology in the manufacture of plastic caps and closures is reducing cycle times by 20%.
Working with long term client Silgan Closures, the company used this technology to create mould tools for plastic injection moulded caps and closures delivering a 20% reduction in cycle time as well as reducing the energy consumption for the same output.
With options for reducing cooling water requirements from tens of thousands of litres used in any 24 hours to just 20>50 litres.
Paul Stockhill, managing director of Agemaspark said: “We have 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.
“Our solution found a way to save energy, using our conformal cooling technology, we can reduce cycle time by up to 2 seconds.
“Conformal cooling is the process of using coolant channels in plastic injection mould tools which closely follow, or conform, to the shape of the part being moulded. The process consumes less raw material and energy during manufacturer as the tool can be made smaller.
“We ran a number of trials of the moulds and have now delivered a product that enables these drinks caps to be manufactured in a more environmentally friendly way.”
Silgan Closures provide closures in more than 50 countries across the globe. Their closures are used on liquid cartons, and plastic sports drinks bottles, the closures need to be suitable for hot or cold drinks, be tamper-proof and resealable.
Paul added: “We are extremely proud to have created the mould tool design concepts and tooling designs for Silgan Closures. It is fantastic to be working with them in partnership on their wide range of caps and closures.
“We are continuing to test moulds and designs and are now working on two new prototype tools for the company converting existing conventional tools to conformal cooling tools.
“It is great to see companies investing in improving the environmental impact of manufacturing and being innovative in their approach to delivering their product.
“Our techniques can be used to help industries from oil and gas to aerospace and from medical and clinical to tooling. We are looking forward to using this application to help more sectors improve their environmental foot print.”