Feature-Based Design and Modelling for Injection-molding Optimization

Feature-Based Design and Modelling for Injection-molding Optimization
Summary

The strategic objective of the Des-MOLD project is to reduce the cost of injection-moulding production by developing and validating a set of knowledge-based tools specifically oriented to mould makers and plastic injection companies, which will reduce the need for mock-ups of moulds, and several try-and-error trials to calibrate process control variables. The production of plastic parts has moved from highly standardized molds, to a more customized demand with small batch production.

This has generated an increasing demand of molds and a new scenario: each injector company has the same volume requirements but much higher diversity of plastic pieces, and therefore, more different molds to handle. Des-MOLD leitmotiv is to build up a new generation of intelligent knowledge-based engineering systems for added-value injection molding and process control optimization at the design time, directly transferable and usable by the European Tool Makers community and thermoplastic injection companies, and considering as a whole the entire industrialization and production process.

Des-MOLD will uses as a main source, past empirical industrial experiences and simulation data to optimize, at the design time, the geometries of the pieces and moulds according to the desired features, material properties, and to the expected process control variables; modeling this domain and supporting reasoning about features. Artificial intelligence techniques such as case-based reasoning and computational argumentation will permit both the inference of quantitative and qualitative information based on a large variety of empirical data and the justification of each decision.

The proper use of Des-MOLD system will imply the reduction of set up time in at least 25%, reduction of scraps with a rejection ratio cut by a factor 2, and an overall increase of productivity of at least 15%. These factors will have a strategic effect on the sustainability of the European plastics industry competitiveness.

More information
Web resources: http://www.desmold.eu
https://cordis.europa.eu/project/rcn/104543/factsheet/en
Duration: 36 months
Start date: 01-09-2012
End date: 31-08-2015
Number of participants: 9
Total budget - Public funding: 2 672 580,00 Euro - 1 965 912,00 Euro
Call topic: Knowledge-based tools and approaches for process planning and integrated process simulation at factory level (FoF.NMP.2012-6)
Instrument: Small or medium-scale focused research project
Images
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Location
    Comment: Des-MOLD is an intelligent knowledge-based system which presents the use of different Artificial Intelligence techniques to develop a decision support system for designers of plastic parts. Our approach is based on computational argumentation (ARG) and case-based reasoning (CBR) to offer both a recommendation about the design and the reasoning process followed in order to select that solution. Given the geometry of the part, type of material, mould’s material and defects to be avoid, the system combines a knowledge-based system (KBS) based on past experiences with designers social debates for providing a set of recommendations, enabling to update the knowledge database by reusing and adapting solutions from previous designs.
      Comment: Within the new scenario where plastic converters industry has moved from highly standardized molds to customized products with small batches, it is possible to construct an intelligent knowledge-based system that uses as a main source, past empirical experiences and simulation data to optimize, at the design time, the geometries of the pieces according to the desired features, and to the expected process control variables that will be monitored during production time. This is the focus of Des-MOLD.
      Comment: Less scrap, lower costs, faster production: • Des-MOLD will shorten time-to-market for new and highly competitive products. This benefit is a direct result from the reduction of tuning time described above. In today’s fierce competition being first on the market is a significant advantage. • Also, Des-MOLD allow flexible production and higher production capacity. Intelligent molds enable easy production change and even production factory change Des-MOLD system will allow converters to produce plastic parts close to customers’ sites, without suffering from any productivity loss. The expected result of the project is to decrease new production setting from an average of 20 parts down to 10 parts. This means a 50% reduction in initial scrap. The use of Des-MOLD will significantly reduce scraps with a rejection ratio cut by a factor 2. In average, plastic injection molding generates 5% scrap. 60% of it generated after mold set up during production • Environmental impact: improvement sustainability of production processes and tools since Des-MOLD will reduce the need for mock-up tools, and scrap pieces will be decreased thanks to the optimal designs and sensorization at the design level.
    Comment: • Also, Des-MOLD allow flexible production and higher production capacity. Intelligent molds enable easy production change and even production factory change. Being flexible to market has become mandatory for companies to survive. Furthermore, producing less scrap means having free capacity for another production. In growth circumstances (plastic business grows 3 to 4 % a year on average) this point is important.
      Comment: • The main strategic objective of the Des-MOLD project is to reduce the cost of injection-molding production by developing and validating a set of ICT tools specifically oriented to mold makers and plastic injection companies, which will reduce the need for mock-ups of molds, and several try-and-error trials to calibrate process control variables
    Comment: • At the injection molding companies level, Des-MOLD will impact directly the profitability of a company, which most of them are SMEs. This is obviously a guarantee for these actors to maintain the level of employment in this sector in Europe. Furthermore, it is also an opportunity for the company to lower the products’ costs, and thereby possibly increase its market shares, hence its benefits, and investment capacity (structural development, job creation). •
      Comment:

      Des-MOLD imply the development of a Geometry module : software to simplify the design of geometry to a set of primitives. It allows the system to compare designs.

      Des-MOLD is an intelligent knowledge-based system which presents the use of different Artificial Intelligence techniques to develop a decision support system for designers of plastic parts. Our approach is based on computational argumentation (ARG) and case-based reasoning (CBR) to offer both a recommendation about the design and the reasoning process followed in order to select that solution. Given the geometry of the part, type of material, mould’s material and defects to be avoid, the system combines a knowledge-based system (KBS) based on past experiences with designers social debates for providing a set of recommendations, enabling to update the knowledge database by reusing and adapting solutions from previous designs.

      Our approach is based on computational argumentation (ARG) and case-based reasoning (CBR) to offer both a recommendation about the design and the reasoning process followed in order to select that solution. Given the geometry of the part, type of material, mould’s material and defects to be avoid, the system combines a knowledge-based system (KBS) based on past experiences with designers social debates for providing a set of recommendations, enabling to update the knowledge database by reusing and adapting solutions from previous designs