Concept evaluation and layout design of a piston moulding machine
Lomolding is a piston moulding process, similar to injection moulding in some respects, aimed at making thermoplastic parts. A life cycle cost model is being developed to optimise lomolding machine designs and to investigate the range of products suitable for profitable application of lomolding. Several machine layout concepts were generated and evaluated to optimise the lomolder life cycle cost. This paper describes the concepts that were evaluated, why the final concept was chosen and ends with an outline of a parametric model that can be manipulated to generate different sized machines of the final concept. The key elements focussed on are the metering- and moulding unit assemblies, as well as the runner system between them. The material plasticiser and clamp unit are excluded since they are similar to those found on injection moulding machines. The parametric model is the starting point for estimating the contribution to the life cycle costs of the machine's purchase and operating costs and the energy consumption.