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Injection Molding: AVENTICS Pneumatic Solutions, by Emerson, Optimizes Tool Correction Process with X-ray tomography

by Adrien on 06 Apr 2021 at 10h41

As part of Emerson Automation Solutions, AVENTICS is one of the world’s leading brands in pneumatic components and systems. The group provides products and services for industrial automation as well as other industrial fields. X-ray computed tomography has been used for many years by Aventics for the inspection of injected parts and complex assemblies. Aventics first discovered X-ray computed tomography thanks to RX Solutions' services department, especially for checking assemblies and looking for defects in their parts (porosities, inclusions).

Plastic components, for every industrial field

The use of components made from plastic materials has steadily increased in almost every type of product development – from consumer electronics and vehicles to aerospace interiors and medical devices. There are multiple reasons why this trend, which began decades ago, should continue. Plastic components are generally less expensive to produce and lighter in weight. They can be formed into more complicated designs and forms. In short, plastics are best suited to meet the needs of increasing numbers of today's manufacturers for product growth.
Plastic injection molding manufacturing process is used to design produce high volumes of the same part. Obtaining the perfect geometry of a plastic part is a complex process. Thus, there are several optimization steps for the material such as the mold itself and the injection settings. As stated above, injection molding can be a complex process whereas shrinkage compensation and warpage remains an omnipresent topic. Even if the molds are strictly made according to the drawings, the parts produced are usually not true to size. The main defects (shrinkage, warpage, and porosities) mainly come from inhomogeneous cooling due to the volume distribution and the filling process. Traditional measurement methods to compensate for these defects are often time and cost-consuming.
Thanks to X-ray Computed Tomography, it is easier to validate stack-up tolerance on real parts and visualize seals or spring in real conditions, without having to disassemble and take the risk to lose precious information
Nicolas Vidal, Head of Pneumatic Laboratory  
As a matter of fact, this is where computed tomography comes into its own, allowing the first molded parts to be checked out non-destructively. X-ray computed tomography is the perfect technology to assess in a few minutes a plastic part, on structural and dimensional aspects. CT scanning quickly provides the ability to overlap actual scan data with that of the original CAD model, or the golden sample showing user-defined criteria, comparing actual values to nominal values, and displaying out of tolerances values in easy-to-see colors.
injection molded plastic  injection molded plastic
Injection molded plastic cover by Aventics with its X-ray projection
by x-ray computed tomography (RX Solutions DeskTom).
injection molded plastic 
CAD Comparison: a real part (First of tool injection)
is compared to the CAD model.

Take all the benefits of X-ray vision in CT for injection molding 

Compared to other technologies, X-Ray CT does not need any particular preparation on the sample to be done: no spray, no stickers, no probing program... the only thing that needs to be carried out before launching a scan is to choose a good orientation and an adapted sample holder to accommodate the part inside the system. Then everything can be automated and well-integrated in a fully robotized production line.
Furthermore, Industrial computed tomography is making its way into molding industry for fast adjustments and corrections on injection molds. In plastics engineering, X-ray computed tomography supports and speeds up all phases in injection molding, from prototypes to first of tools (FOT).

X-Ray CT, an imaging technology that saves a lot of time in Injection Molding process

The entire development of a new mold is a long process that can take months. CT scanning is a fast and accurate technology that gives a complete scan of the part in a few minutes, without worrying about the part’s complexity.
Besides, x-ray computed tomography gives away on a single scan to measure multiple parameters, external as well as internal features. X-ray tomography doesn’t care about the complexity of the part. Whatever the type of part, tomography brings an answer and allows to get a result directly in a few minutes.
Images: Real part to 3D CT rendering with porosity analysis 
CT scanning is a powerful technology that can be used for a variety of applications, ranging from material analysis to assembly inspection passing through CAD comparison & dimensional measurements. X-ray CT technology gives a quick and complete inspection of your injected parts in a non-destructive way and opens up opportunities to understand the complete process, from design to end-user part.