Knowing how to choose the right hot runner system manufacturer for injection mold making is the important first step in effectively implementing this important technology. Certainly it requires more than hearsay or a single discussion with a salesman.
Get involved with the manufacturer from the beginning. This is their area of expertise, and they will be able to guide you in choosing the injection mold components for your application. Not only that, but you will save yourself a lot of aggravation and money!
Hot runner systems vary greatly in design and application, there is no one-size-fits all. Also, time spent getting a good understanding of the function and technology wil help in the decision making process.
Ask questions, prepare ahead of time and dig right in with the manufacturer. How many cavities, what size shot, material requirements, etc. are all necessary questions.
Custom injection molding requires custom hot runner designs
Because hot runner systems have so many configurations, you need to first of all consider just what your application is. Are you trying to gate directly into the part? Or are you planning on using a sub-runner that is attached to the part. ? This will directly affect your choice of hot runners.
Perhaps you have a high volume project with the need for very close spacing of the cavities. This will completely change the application and require a much different system.
Or you might be using an expensive, highly engineered resin with a very high melt temperature. Once again, this will determine the type of high performance nozzle. You cannot just use a standard nozzle and expect good results.
Hot runner troubleshooting
Troubleshooting is a special skill for any type of problem, and hot runner systems are no exception. Using the wrong system can cause headaches for years and eat up profits quickly.
The type of material being molded also influences the type of hot runner system you will need. Obviously an abrasive material or high viscosity material have different specifications than other plastics.
Consider the plastic color and how often you might be changing colors. Some systems are easy to change colors with and others are not so easy. Cleaning dried plastic off a hot runner system is very time consuming, to say the least.
Cost is usually one of the main factors in making a decision. Hot runner systems are designed for high production and they are expensive to buy, build and maintain. However, the payback can be relatively quick considering the benefits of using such a system.
Make sure you include the hot runner manufacturer in your planning, mold design and decision making process. They have the experience and expertise to save you time and money.
Quality hot runner system manufacturers