Today's ubiquitous use of plastics in product design and manufacturing presents significant environmental and human health challenges. Injection molding, one of the most commonly used processes for making plastic products, consumes a significant amount of energy. A methodology for accurately estimating the energy consumed to injection-mold a part would enable environmentally conscious decision making during the product design. Unfortunately, only limited information is available at the design stage. Therefore, accurately estimating energy consumption before the part has gone into production can be challenging. In this paper, we describe a methodology for energy estimation that works with the limited amount of data available during the design stage, namely the CAD model of the part, the material name, and the production requirements. This methodology uses this data to estimate the parameters of the runner system and an appropriately sized molding machine. It then uses these estimates to compute the machine setup time and the cycle time required for the injection molding operation. This is done by appropriately abstracting information available from the mold flow simulation tools and analytical models that are traditionally used during the manufacturing stage. These times are then multiplied by the power consumed by the appropriately sized machine during each stage of the molding cycle to compute the estimated energy consumption per part.
Proceedings Title: Proceedings of the ASME 2010 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences & Computers and Information in Engineering Conference (IDETC/CIE 2010)
Conference Dates: August 15-18, 2010
Conference Location: Montreal, Quebec,
Pub Type: Conferences
injection molding, systematic methodology, energy consumption