Monitoring the Internal & Peak Internal Air Temperature during the Rotomolding process

The ability to monitor the air temperature inside the mold is one of the key diagnostic tools that Roto-molders have available today to help optimize the Rotomolding process. The cost of monitoring equipment has become more economical in the past few years making it a diagnostic tool that molders of all sizes should have in their operation. A thermally insulated wireless transmitter is mounted near the mold to be monitored. The temperature probe is inserted into the vent tube so that it protrudes into the air space in the mold cavity. The process technician would then monitor the internal air temperature via a laptop computer that is connected to the wireless receiver. This allows the process technician to monitor the internal air temperature in real time during the molding process.

Monitoring the peak internal air temperature provides for a number of process and quality benefits, including:

  • Optimizing the physical properties of the roto-molded part. Being able to determine the optimum PIAT for each material and mold combination, and consistently ensuring that molded parts always reached this temperature, will ensure high quality parts. Reaching the necessary PIAT will ensure that parts are bubble free every and meet performance properties, especially impact performance.
  • Allowing for faster process set-up, especially with new molds. Being able to more quickly get molds on-cycle saves time and money and can reduce scrap costs and material losses. This is especially important when starting up new molds.
  • Monitoring part quality in relation to changes in process parameters or ambient conditions. Monitoring the PIAT of each mold helps to ensure that quality parts are being produced every cycle, thereby minimizing scrap losses or the possibility of shipping bad parts. Keeping records of the PIAT can also help in the event of customer complaints and part quality issues.
  • As a diagnostic tool to help solve part sticking and part warpage problems. Monitoring PIAT can be a valuable tool in troubleshooting part defects such as warpage or parts sticking in the mold. PIAT can help determine if molded parts are releasing early from the mold causing warpage, or if there is a different potential cause.

There are several suppliers of PIAT monitoring equipment and options are available for monitoring a single channel or multiple channels. Single channel systems are a good, low cost option, especially for smaller roto-molders, while multi-channel systems are excellent for monitoring multiple molds or for conducting a variety of temperature monitoring tasks.

At Entec Polymers, our Technical Service team is well versed in the many uses of the in-mold air monitoring systems and can assist Rotomolding customers as they begin utilizing PIAT monitoring systems.

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