Doncaster based precision engineering company, Agemaspark, have created a new tool to help the automotive industry.
Following a five-year partnership with Advanced Plastics, an Injection Moulding company that develops a diverse range of technical injection moulded products for blue chip clients across a range of market sectors, Agemaspark has now produced a new tool, using its conformal cooling technique that will be used to produce an in-car component to house a vision system within the vehicle.
Paul Stockhill, managing director of Agemaspark said: “We’ve developed a strong relationship with Advanced Plastics and have been proud to work with them on this project.
“It was a resounding success due to the close working relationship combining the skills, knowledge, and experience of both parties.
“There were some challenges that we faced, for example, the product needed to have a high integrity gloss finish in a consumer visual area and required high aesthetic characteristics. With the company making 150,000 pcs per year, a commercially viable cycle time had to be achieved.
“Thanks to our innovative conformal cooling technique, created and developed over many years, we were able to overcome this challenge, allowing the surfaces of the tool cavity to be rapid-heated for injection and rapid-cooled before demoulding. This technique also provided the ability for the company to achieve a viable cycle time.”
Agemaspark spent several years developing and trialling the new technology, which dramatically reduces cycle times for multi-impression mould tools.
Using 3D metal printing machinery, Agemaspark can deliver the highly efficient advanced manufacturing process through a conformal cooling technique.
The technique improves the efficiency of a mould by as much as 20 per cent, reducing the amount of energy required and the environmental impact of the process.
As well as being more cost-effective, the process is more eco-friendly and offers Agemaspark’s customers – which include companies in the aerospace and oil and gas industries – a chance to reduce their carbon footprint.
Paul added: “We were really pleased with the results and parts were produced successfully at the first tool trial with no visible weld lines and a perfect surface finish. This part needed to have a high-quality visual appearance and a high-quality tolerance. Our leading technology and expertise were used to deliver this whilst to reducing the cost and environmental impact of the manufacturing process throughout.
“It is fantastic to see our conformal cooling technique being used in a number of different sectors to reduce cycle time and increase efficiency.
The project has been shortlisted in the Supplier Partnership – Toolmaker category of this year’s Plastic Industry Awards.