What is family mould?
“Family Mold” is the name given to a mould used to make more than one product within a single injection. Each product featured in the mold will be manufactured from the same material and in the same color.
All Family Molds have one very serious disadvantage. They exist compelled to manufacture an item that is most challenging to cool while being molded, so the cycle time is largely determined by the product that needs the most time to cool. This difference can be considerable and should be taken very seriously.
When it is possible to produce parts of different sizes with a single mold, it is necessary to ensure that the clamp forces are as balanced as possible. That is, the projected areas at all four corners of the mold are equal.
For that reason, the total area of the cavities above and below the horizontal centerline of the mold must be roughly equal. Furthermore, the total area of the projected areas to the right and left of the vertical centerline of the mold needs also to be nearly equal.
Composite Products by Family Molds
It is often desirable to manufacture composite products, such as toys and games, all in one shot due to the difficulty of creating the parts separately. There are several ways in which the various pieces of the toy are stored and handled. Oftentimes, the various pieces are held on a runner system on a 2-plate mold; these can be packaged with the runner and shipped together into the box with the other parts of the vehicle.
It is a straightforward way of producing small quantities of the product using inexpensive molds because the production runs are usually rather small. Therefore the product’s cost is reduced. However, it would help if you kept in mind that the cost of plastic runners should also be included in the packaging price.
It happens from time to time that a product may have more than one color. For example, a car might be blue on the outside, yellow on the inside, and have many colors. The cars can be molded with equal blue, red, and yellow parts and each with a different color combination. In this case, the runners are removed in the process, and the car is shipped with the coat of paint only. This method is also sometimes used for technical products.
Small or Medium-Sized Technical Products by Family Molds
It is also possible to use a family mold for a small or medium-sized complicated technical product, such as a washer. When some similar, small products have been molded together in the same mold. It is also possible to utilize such molds to produce larger products, which require a set of molds. But such products are also used to manufacture home appliances and so on. Any mold can be used, whether it is a hot runner or cold runner, 2-plate or 3-plate. Two main disadvantages of the type of mold are as follows:
- All shapes and sizes of the products fall from the mold mixed, except for those edge-gated 2-plate molds, and it must take care to separate them before storage and use.
- Control of inventory and production can lead to serious issues if certain products are consumed (such as wear) more quickly than others.
In some cases, this can prove problematic since spare parts need to be manufactured if some products are on order. Then, some items will have to go through a mold that is not a complete set, while other items are merely small sample pieces.
The process can be optimized by blocking off the runner system and using only the mold only for the necessary parts, thereby reducing the number of unnecessary cavities; this requires that additional cycles be run on the mold to achieve efficiency.
Perfect Color Matching by Family Molds
Colored plastic is particularly problematic since the color is usually applied in batches, whether the plastic is colored internally or purchased finished. Plastic within a batch can be thought to be uniformly colored.
Various forms of these mixtures are delivered to the factory, such as sacks, or in large carboys, or truckloads, etc.
However, the specifications for both batches were the same, but small variations due to mixing tolerances were unavoidable in the manufacturing process, and the batches were made independently between batches.
You can work with large batches, which leads to a larger number of matching pieces; however, for practical reasons or economic reasons, this may not always be a practical solution.
There are times when matching parts may need to be made simultaneously since these parts may use the same process in different colors. Since a matching pair is needed, then the matching parts will be created using the same injection unit simultaneously, as the parts will be matched in one shot.
Almost any cosmetic, perfume, or scent may be encapsulated in a plastic container that encapsulates the powder and adds a matching lid. Furthermore, this type of container is commonly referred to as a “lady compact.”
In the technical field, there are more than a few applications for this particular operation. It is not unusual to manufacture molds with the same number of products being manufactured to be submitted for this exact color match.
An asymmetrical mold layout can be achieved if the pieces are used in pairs and their projected areas are the same. Therefore this makes a mold layout simple and an easy way to arrange stacks. The problem here is that the pieces must be separated even though they are made of the same material, and the pieces must also be stored so that the colors do not mix and produce a mismatched color batch. This will add up to additional expenses since it includes storing the pieces separately.
In-Mold Assembly by Family Molds
Typically, in-mold assembly molds for family production are more sophisticated, with higher production volumes. They are used for only very little overall production since they tend to have more complicated designs.
In the same mold, identical pieces of different designs may be molded in a multiple of two, respectively on opposite sides of the mold;
The parts are assembled by either manual means in the ejection phase, using special movements or by automated removal methods. The parts are ejected to conveyors or cars under controlled circumstances. In some cases, however, these assembly methods may be more time-consuming to assemble, but they may save time and save future additional setup equipment.
Controlled Ejection for Subsequent Assembly by Family Molds
It is almost exclusively the case where large quantities of goods are required to be produced on an annual basis, and little variation in the product requirement is expected for many years in the future.
For example, this kind of molding involves producing some matching pieces with either the same projected area or a small difference in the projected area and removing each piece from the mold either by take-off or by other methods.
In general, the components of the manufactured parts are arranged in such a way as to facilitate their assembly within a specially designed machine or mechanism, usually in an area nearby the molding machine, which is installed next to the molding machine.