Laser welding--not remaking--molds saves costs

June 23--Plastek, an American-owned plastics molding company based in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, UK, has been saving costs by using Pro-Moulds' laser welding services to repair its dies and cores.

Plastek is one of the sector's leading international designers and manufacturers of consumer, personal care, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics packaging.

Specialists in the design and building of injection molds and the production of plastic components, Plastek has a client base that includes many household names in the food, health, beauty, and pharmaceutical businesses.

Rob Skrzypkowski, managing director of Pro-Moulds, said, "We have been working with Plastek to overcome the wear problem of the die faces and edges of the cores. They have a requirement that flash is kept to a minimum. This requires the maintenance of a very tight tolerance between the mating parts."

Commenting on the Pro-Moulds laser welding service, Paul Hill, toolroom supervisor, said, "We use laser welding for repairing dies. Typically it is the edges and cores that wear. We have very tight tolerances to work to. The products we produce for the food industry cannot have any flash on them so wear has, in the past, been a problem, with parts needing to be remade."

"Using the Pro-Moulds laser welding technology we can weld, machine, and polish the surface without there being any visible indication afterwards. This was not possible with traditional welding. We run six to ten second cycles. This level of operation means the die and cores become very hot and require rapid cooling. To help the cooling of the cores, we make them from mold max, a copper based material. Up until we had access to laser welding technology we had to remake the part, which was very costly."

This article originally appeared in Manufacturingtalk. Visit www.manufacturingtalk.com.

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