In this project, we were commissioned by a well-known automobile manufacturer to design and manufacture a defroster panel for a passenger car interior. The injection molding component is installed in various series of models in the air outlet area of the A-pillar. In this case, in the direct field of vision, it is important to ensure the high visual requirements of our customer in terms of aesthetics and a uniform appearance combined with the other interior components. Secondly, it was necessary for us to design the components with a specified material in such a way that they exhibit high dimensional stability and low warping properties, also under extreme temperature conditions. Here, removing the complex component contours from the mold presented a particular challenge. ein einheitliches Erscheinungsbild im Zusammenspiel mit den übrigen Interior-Komponenten sicherzustellen. Zum anderen mussten wir die Bauteile mit einem vorgegebenen Material so auslegen, dass diese selbst unter extremen Temperaturen eine hohe dimensionelle Beständigkeit und geringe Verzugseigenschaften aufweisen. Dabei stellte gerade die Entformung der komplexen Bauteilkonturen eine besondere Herausforderung dar.
In a first step, we were able to simulate the theoretical warping and the shrinkage of the panel at a close-to-series production temperature with the help of mold-flow analyses. The knowledge we gained from this makes an important contribution to the optimum coordination of the tool and the removal from the mold. Each process throughout the processing chain is designed for a cost-effective manufacturing of the component. From the process development, the tool design and tool construction through to the manufacturing on eight injection molding machines with a clamping force of up to 300 t.
Due to the wide-ranging use in the interior area, a high impact ABS / PC thermoplastic is also used in the defroster panel, which is finished in the corresponding interior colors. In this respect, it was necessary for us to draw on all our experience to reproduce the demanding tolerance and surface requirements with the required grains, gloss levels and colors.
Using the latest hot runner technology and product-specific removal grippers, we succeeded in increasing the efficiency and stability in the process. A consistent measurement and correction strategy ensures constant quality in the series production. Each process step is continuously monitored using measuring machines, gauges, dial gauges and calipers, and documented in the CAQ system.
Our customer benefits from a very good, consistent level of quality – also in the high unit volume range. This means high-cost remedial work can be reduced to the minimum. Thanks to our specialist know-how in tool construction and plastics processing, we succeeded in reproducing the complex requirements surrounding the precision and component geometry. In addition to this, all the process steps are bundled and carried out on a correspondingly efficient basis at our Knittelfeld production site – currently in a unit quantity of 5,000 units per week in 3-shift operation.
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