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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Keywords: Tooling, Repair, Lasers, Welding
Moeller Manufacturing Ltd. supplies a wide range of rotary switches on short delivery times with a minimum of stockholding. In this lean environment, tooling must therefore always be ready to use, and premature wear, or accidental damage to a key injection moulding tool can play havoc with typical end-product delivery times of only 2 or 3 days.
The Trumpf PowerWeld machine range has been specifically developed to enable mould tools to be repaired with a previously unattainable speed and quality (Plate 1). PowerWeld is a self-contained, small footprint machine that uses an NdYAG laser to repair mould tool edges by the controlled micro- deposition of a filler material. Not only is it fast, precise and predictable, but it is also “minimally intrusive” and therefore will not thermally distort delicate tooling elements or metallurgically alter the parent metal.
Plate 1 The Trumpf PowerWeld machine range has been developed to enable the fast repair of mould tools
According to Moeller's MD, David Howell, installation and integration were quick and easy – as was the training in this new technology. He states, “Our existing TIG welders picked it up in “5 min” and they like it – because its much easier to use”. The in-built fume extraction and particulate filtration create a clean working environment, and adjustable chair and armrest lead to fatigue-free operation. The work is viewed through a 25× magnification stereo-microscope, enabling precise targeting of the worn or damaged area of the tool. The work-piece can easily be moved by small, precise amounts because the work-table surface is air-cushioned; movement is controlled by either joy-stick or CNC, the latter providing a unidirectional, controlled straight- line feed. Process parameters can be selected by a display and keypad, and can be saved for use on repeat operations.
Apart from the speed, precision, and overall predictability of the operation, one of the biggest benefits to Moeller has been the virtual elimination of follow-on hand-work or dressing. According to David Howell, “Subsequent dressing takes only 'a couple of minutes' with a diamond file – in fact the total time to repair a 50 mm long worn tool edge is no more than 5 min”.
For further information please contact: Trumpf Ltd., President Way, Airport Executive Park, Luton, Bedfordshire LU2 9NL. Tel: 01582 725335; Fax: 01582 399250; E-mail: email@example.com