We recently reconnected with Dave Crispino, a Senior Engineer in the Rochester location of EG-GILERO. He and a few others have been heading up the Six Sen$e Initiative, and we wanted to hear more from him on how this initiative got started, what it is intended to do, and how it’s being rolled out within EG-GILERO. Here’s what Dave had to say.
The start of Six Sen$e
The Six Sen$e Initiative began several years ago when EG-GILERO combined injection molding best practices with expertise in tool design processes. The outcome is to determine the fastest cycle time with the widest process window.
How to determine the fastest cycle time with the widest process window
With the Six Sen$e Initiative, we are looking to improve the productivity of an injection mold. And the way you can do that is by running it faster. To achieve very fast cycle times, we look at things that affect cycle time, such as tool design, and then we look to determine what is within the law of physics, and what is possible. We have at our disposal a specific methodology internal to EG Industries that looks at both the tool design and process side of running a mold, both of which can contribute to obtaining optimal cycle times.
The overall cycle time has many specific components, one of them being cure time. Cure time is the time it takes for plastic to go from a molten state into a solidified part, and be rigid enough to be ejected from a mold. Typically, the cure time makes up the largest proportion of cycle time. We can affect cure time the most through the tool design process, by engineering the thermal cooling system of the mold as effectively as possible. Instead of using the established and accepted “rules of thumb” approach within the industry, EG-GILERO uses a very defined methodology on how to analyze a given part, so we understand the necessary thermal requirements. And on the process side, a strict methodology based on scientific molding principles is used. Because it is a strict methodology, the benefit is that it allows a process to be established, and it can be used the same way in any facility.
At EG-GILERO, we are using Six Sen$e as our first approach to tool design and build, and applying solid design principles to components that will be injection molded. When designing these components, we look at specific design features that contribute to a successful run, such as uniform wall thickness, gate location, and the location of parting lines, among others. We also look at how to adjust a design to meet the “lesser of two evils”, because you can’t always design a “perfect part” by using all the best measures of all your components. Six Sen$e helps you choose the ones that will deliver the best outcome for our customers, so you make the right compromises.
Initial Rollout and Training
To date, rollout has consisted of face-to-face training sessions supported by phone conferences and WebEx, and we’ve seen great participation. We recently conducted an on-site training at our RTP Design Center, where we covered thermal analysis, structure analysis, process of development, and standard format and what one should look for to achieve the fastest cycle time with the widest process window. Other tool builders are innovating, but EG-GILERO is in a very select group…currently, very few tool builders go as in-depth as we are going right now with Six Sen$e, and few are attempting to run a mold as fast as we are.
The Six Sen$e Initiative is just one of the exciting changes happening at EG-GILERO, and we thank Dave for walking us through the key components of this initiative. We welcome all comments and questions, and be sure to follow our blog or check out our Twitter feed to stay up to speed on what we have coming up next.