But what happens when you find that you run into issues during start up even when you did all your homework? Hopefully you have done an FMEA (Failure mode and effects analysis) and have a plan in place to overcome these issues. But sometimes with IMD you just don’t know what you don’t know.
Here are some things you can do to prepare for the challenges you may face:
- Design your mold to have room for adjustments. Be prepared to make slight changes to the gate and even geometry surrounding the gate to help with pinning, over heating or gassing issues in the gate area. This can be difficult to do but will pay off big if you run into problems.
- Design your magazine system and end of arm tooling to be adjustable. Altering the size of the IMD film or label to help with pinning or registration may require a new nest or end of arm tool. If you design in adjustability you can quickly overcome any location and static charging issues during the initial sample.
- The IMD film / label supplier should be prepared with different material options. Be prepared with different materials with various thicknesses to help overcome any issues with registration, knitting or burn through. Be sure to have several different options made ahead of time so you can quickly mold them, evaluate their performance and overcome any issues you are having.
- Work with your customer to limit art and die line to one or two variations to limit the variability at start up. Too many different designs and different die lines can introduce variability that can be challenging, especially when you are trying to get a product launched. Once that initial design processes well and is ready for production, then introduce and sample different options. Set the expectation early to achieve success early in the launch.
Someone once told me, “In Mold Decoration is not science, it’s Black Magic”. While, I certainly understand where he was coming from, you can help alleviate some of these start up issues and challenges by planning ahead.
Written by Jim Naatz, Sussex IM Sales Account Manager