Advantages and disadvantages of injection molding simulation
Injection molding simulation offers many benefits
Whether for space travel, road traffic or in industry, professional computer simulations are now used in practically all areas of life throughout the world. Realistically modeling in virtual space what happens in real life not only boosts safety but, more especially, also saves costs. Just a few years ago, crash tests, for example, were conducted using large numbers of actual cars under real conditions. Today, the majority of these tests are simulated on computers, which means that only a few genuine vehicles need to be driven into a wall.
Injection molding simulation saves costs and time
When it comes to plastics injection molding processes, simulations also permit considerable savings to be made in terms of costs and, above all, time. Professional simulation solutions provide support in determining the feasibility of specific designs at the initial phase of a project already. Or they help determine the machines that will be suitable for performing the injection molding. At the same time, the software solutions also allow molds to be configured and the optimum process parameters to be established – long before the first real part is produced.
A very clear advantage: forecasting part quality
Many injection molding errors occur during the filling phase. Weld lines or entrapped air result quite frequently. Parts that shrink and warp outside the tolerance limits have to be rejected. This requires time-consuming and costly reworking of the mold. Simulating the injection molding process allows precisely these errors to be calculated in advance. The simulation identifies problems that can occur and permits rapid and simple testing with different parameters or part geometries. And all of this is done at the development stage, when modifications can still be implemented both easily and inexpensively.
Precise simulation results
This is because the part properties are accurately displayed on the monitor in the form of simulation results long before they can be measured in reality. A highly developed injection molding simulation can also determine the orientation of different fiber-reinforced plastics and predict weak points in the part. The precise data provided by the simulation considerably facilitates the work of moldmakers and part designers, obviating the need for an elaborate trial and error process. The number of correction loops is considerably reduced.
The right prerequisites are essential
To ensure that computer simulations can work correctly and deliver realistic results, the computers initially require a great deal of input. If insufficient input data is available for calculating the process, or if the data is imprecise or even incorrect, then the injection molding simulation will also only be able to output imprecise results. The same can also happen if the model to be calculated is simplified to such an extent on the computer that it no longer reflects reality.
Highly professional injection molding simulation programs thus contain extensive databases that have been built up from countless measurements. These include, first and foremost, up-to-date material data, which has a considerable influence on the results of the simulation. The constant updating of highly advanced simulation software and the use of the latest program versions permits precise prediction of the part.
It also depends on the user
In addition, the engineers or moldmakers ought to be and, indeed, must be highly familiar with the software. Software manufacturers who provide a high level of service thus attach great importance to user-friendly user interfaces and also offer readily comprehensible, user-specific and interactive training. They are also available to answer questions with their know-how. Injection molding simulations thus make it possible to achieve a perfect part!