Specialists at Kiefel set out to tackle issues concerning the fast wearing of thermoforming tools, the service life of the tools being too short, as well as the maintenance and resulting costs, being too high. These issues can all be traced to the cooling of the thermoforming tools.
Current systems are not able to accurately regulate and record temperatures, which then results in the issues stated above. However, Kiefel specialists have developed a solution to these issues – a new cooling system.
This system is fully automated and sensor-controlled. With this system, the tools make uses of two separate cooling circuits for the upper and lower part of the tool, respectively. An extended sensor system ensures the optimal level of control of these circuits. The sensor-controlled start automation of the system helps to eliminate the overshooting of the lower tool.
This innovation is able to detect incorrect states and therefore can compensate for them. This, therefore, avoids temperature differences between the upper and lower tool. This, in turn, helps to reduce the quick wearing of the thermoforming tools.
The cooling system distinguishes between four different states, including:
- Standby – this is when the temperature is slowly brought to the desired temperature of the operator and is then maintained.
- Production start – this is the most critical point in the cooling process. At startup, flow temperature of the cooling water to the tool is initially reduced to prevent excessive heating of the tool. The actual temperature and states are then compared to the desired temperatures and states in closed intervals. To stabilise this process, it is then automatically switched to the next stage.
- Production – The set target temperatures and states are adjusted as far as the cooling water flow temperature allows. The two tool halves’ temperatures are adjusted and then regulated independently. Therefore, both halves of the tool will always remain in the tolerance window in terms of temperature.
- Production stop – To prevent excessive cooling and subsequent condensation, the cooling capacity is lowered when the machine is stopped.
The Kiefel specialists worked hard to ensure that the operation of the new cooling system was user-friendly and uncomplicated to use. With this new operation of cooling, Kiefel successfully enhanced the sensor technology, subsequently lowering the maintenance costs. This innovation will be able to give its customers a clear competitive advantage.
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