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Transmittance in molded plastic parts
02-04-2014, 02:14 PM
Post: #5
RE: Transmittance in molded plastic parts
I am using a Flir A315 for the R&D of potential applications. Once I overcome some of these hurdles I may be able to spec a lower cost camera that has just the functionality that is required for the application.

Bobberry, I definitely love challenges like this. Its been great finally getting the opportunity to work with thermal imaging. Until recently my exposure had been limited to a few handheld units that were so expensive that the Plant Managers would keep them in their offices under lock and key. They never got broken but unfortunately never got used either.

Yesterday we had MoviTherm onsite to conduct training on their IRControl software. I set up the software to record still frame images on each cycle of the molding machine with AOI's placed across the same four cavities as in my pictures above. I then ran the report and when the results were graphed it looked like this:

   

Notice the cyclic wave pattern that spans 30 shots. It's a gradual rise in temp followed by a sudden drop. The range was only 3 or 4 degrees but it was repeating and consistent so it stuck out. After investigating it today I determined that it was our closed loop water control unit cycling to maintain it's temp set point. The long thin walled sections of the parts are cooled by metal cores that each have tiny water pipes in them called bubblers. Since the pipes are so small they easily get clogged from scale buildup and cause downtime to disassemble and remove the blockage. If you notice the cavity represented in purple on the graph does not follow the wave pattern of the others. I suspect that this cavity has restricted flow on its water circuit and plan to set up and investigate later this afternoon.

I'm sharing this because the amount of things that can be monitored using infrared imaging in my industry is huge and even when you are least expecting it, something like this shows itself. The ability to see the flow problems before they affect part quality is a huge benefit and it was discovered while training on the software. (I still need more data to confirm this but the frequency matches up perfectly with the timing of the water control units venting cycle)

Great stuff!
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RE: Transmittance in molded plastic parts - ArikB - 02-04-2014 02:14 PM

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