I. Production Plant
Focus the layout of the production plant on two aspects: Under the precondition that the production demand is met, optimize the layout as per the production process, and at the same time meet the requirements for flexible energy consumption under specific production conditions.
1. Power supply – Maintain an appropriate margin while meeting the power required for stable production, so as not to cause excessive reactive power consumption due to excessive margin.
2. Build a high-efficiency coolant circulation facility and equip the cooling system with an effective insulation system.
3. Optimize the overall production layout of the workshop. In many cases, the production requires collaboration between previous and next process steps, while appropriate collaboration is able to reduce the time and energy required for process flow, thus improving production efficiency.
4. For plant equipment,such as lighting, try to use the most effective small units for separate control.
5. Regularly maintain the workshop equipment, to avoid damage to shared facilities, which may affect regular production operations and increase energy consumption.
II. Injection Molding Machines
An injection molding machine is a major energy consumer in an injection molding workshop, and the consumption mainly goes to the motor and the heater.
1. Choose an appropriate injection molding machine according to the characteristics of the product. A high capacity machine for small quantity production often means a lot of energy waste.
2. The use of an all-electric injection molding machine or a hybrid injection molding machine will result in an excellent energy-saving effect, which may save energy by up to 20-80%.
3. Adopting the new heating technology, such as electromagnetic induction heating, infrared heating, etc., is able to save energy by up to 20-70%.
4. Adopt effective thermal insulation measures for heating and cooling systems, so as to reduce heat and cold loss.
5. Keep the drive components of the equipment well lubricated, to reduce the increase in energy consumption caused by increased friction or unstable operation of the equipment.
6. Select low-compression hydraulic oil, to reduce the energy waste in the operation of the hydraulic system.
7. The adoption of parallel actions, as well as multi-cavity and multi-component injection, and other processing techniques is able to significantly save energy.
8. Traditional mechanical-hydraulic injection molding machines also feature a variety of energy-saving drive systems, which can take the place of traditional quantitative pump mechanical-hydraulic injection molding machines to significantly boost the energy-saving effect.
9. Regularly maintain the heating and cooling pipes to ensure that there are no impurities, scale blockages, etc. inside the pipelines, so as to achieve the designed heating and cooling efficiency.
10. Make sure that the injection molding machine is in good condition. An unstable production process may lead to defective products, and increase energy consumption as well.
11. Make sure that the equipment selected is suitable for the products manufactured, e.g., the processing of PVC often requires the use of special screws.
III. Injection Molds
Mold structure and condition often have a significant impact on molding cycle and energy consumption.
1. Appropriate mold design, including the design of the runner, gate form, number of cavities, heating and cooling channels, etc., are also helpful for reducing energy consumption.
2. The application of hot runner molds not only helps save material and reduce energy used for material recovery, but also has a significant energy-saving effect in the molding process itself.
3.Fast-cooling and fast-heating injection molds are able to significantly reduce the energy consumed during processing, while guaranteeing a better surface quality.
4. Ensuring the balanced filling of each cavity helps shorten the molding cycle and guarantee the uniformity of product quality, with an excellent energy-saving effect.
5. Adopting the CAE design technology for mold design, mold flow analysis and simulation is able to reduce the energy consumption of mold commissioning and multiple mold repairs.
6. Under the premise of ensuring product quality, using a lower clamping force for the injection molding process is able to extend the service life of the mold, facilitate rapid filling, and help save energy.
7. Well maintain the mold to ensure effective heating and cooling channels.
1. Select the auxiliary equipment with a suitable capacity, which not only meets the production requirements, but also ensures a proper allowance.
2. Well maintain the equipment to ensure that the equipment is in normal working condition. Auxiliary equipment that does not work properly may lead to unstable production and even poor quality parts, thus resulting in increased energy consumption.
3. Optimize the coordination and operation sequence of the main equipment and the peripherals.
4. Optimize the relative position of the peripheral equipment and the production equipment, and keep the peripheral equipment as close as possible to the main equipment without affecting operation conditions.
5. Many auxiliary equipment manufacturers are able to offer systems that consume energy on demand, which are able to significantly save energy.
6. Use quick mold change equipment to reduce the waiting time required to switch products in production.
During processing, different materials consume different energy, and at the same time, poor management of materials or improper management of recycled materials will increase energy consumption in the production process.
1. Under the premise of meeting product performance requirements, materials with lower processing energy consumption should be preferably selected.
2. While satisfying product performance and cost optimization requirements, high turnover materials are preferred.
3. Please note that materials from different suppliers may require different process conditions.
4. With regard to material drying, it is better to use it as soon as it is dried, so as to prevent the material from getting damp again after drying which is a waste of energy.
5. Well preserve the materials to prevent them from being mixed with impurities or foreign matter, which will eventually lead to defective products.
6. Some products allow the addition of a certain amount of recycled materials, but attention should be paid to the preservation and cleanliness of recycled materials, so as to avoid defective parts due to unclean materials.
VI. Processing Technologies
Adopt the shortest molding cycle on the premise of meeting product performance requirements.
2. If there are no special factors, try your best to adopt the processing technology recommended by the supplier.
3. For specific products and molds, save all the stable equipment and process parameters, so as to shorten the adjustment time for the next production change.
4. Optimize the process, and adopt a lower clamping force as well as shorter cooling and holding times.
VII. Adopt New Technologies
1. Adopt assisted molding technologies, such as gas-assisted, liquid-assisted, steam-assisted, micro-foam injection molding technologies, etc.
2. Adopt a unitized molding plan to reduce intermediate process steps.
3. Adopt such new technologies as in-mold welding, in-mold spraying, in-mold assembly, and in-mold decoration.
4. Adoptthenew low-pressure molding technology, to shorten the molding cycle while lowering the melt temperature.
5. Adopt the energy regeneration system.
VIII. Production Management
1. Try to turn out high-quality products at the first time, since reducing defect rate is the max energy saving.
2. Energy consumption is closely related to the maintenance of the whole production system. This involves not only the main equipment, but also the peripherals and the factory equipment. For example, if the mold change crane in the workshop fails, and manual mold change is required, it is inevitable that the waiting time of the equipment will be extended, thus increasing the energy consumption of the equipment.
3. Equip the workshop with an energy consumption monitoring system, to make it convenient for the company to carry out energy analysis and improvement activities in a well-targeted manner.
4. When the equipment is shut down for maintenance, not only check the maintenance content and items of the equipment itself, but also pay attention to the connections between the equipment and other systems, to see whether the work performance is reliable, etc.
5. Regularly compare with industry benchmarks, to see if there is room for further improvement.