Tue, 02/28/2023 - 15:21


Mold-Masters customer, a Tier 1 automotive lighting component manufacturer, was contracted to produce the front lighting components of an exciting new electric SUV for a major North American brand. As electric vehicles no longer require airflow to enter an engine bay, this new PC lighting component stretches across the entire front grill.

Servo Electric Valve GateFor the automotive brand, it was critical that this component be produced without any visible flow lines on the lens. A mold-flow analysis determined that the application required sequential filling in order to achieve the necessary results. However, the component manufacturer traditionally used pneumatic actuators which do not provide the repeatability or accuracy required to achieve consistent processing for such an application.

Mold-Masters hot runner solution for this application was a Fusion-Series G2 system (F7000 nozzles, extended hot valves) and incorporated our advanced SeVG+ (Servo electric Valve Gate) actuation control system. The SeVG+ system was favored by the customer because of its simple and compact design in addition to Mold-Masters sales and engineering support. SeVG+ features a direct drive design unlike competitive systems that incorporate levers, gear boxes and other components. This not only reduces spare part requirements but also minimizes cut-out requirements. Additionally, the height of our new 2nd generation motor has been reduced by 48% which minimizes stack height. The height of this motor is now only 90mm high.

In this specific application, each nozzle/gate of the hot runner system fed a sub-runner that fed into the left and right-side lighting component. There were 3 sub-runners total.

Initially, the 2 outboard drops (Gates 1&3) produced splay. To eliminate this issue, the Mold-Masters team worked through stepping the profile on these drops. The pin was opened slowly for the first 50% of the stroke and then opened quickly for the rest of the movement. Profiling the individual drops allowed for this issue to be quickly resolved in under 10 shots.

Had this hot runner system not been fitted with the SeVG+ system, fixing the splay would have involved adjusting the process at the injection press which would influence all gates including the center gate which was good. It is clear that the flexibility of the SeVG+ system to precisely control individual gates on challenging applications allows for processing solutions to be quick and easy.