Our client is manufacturer of finished machined mold components for the plastic injection molding industry. As part of the plastic mold production process, copper cooling cores (tubing) run throughout to cool the components so they can then be ejected from the molds. Cycle times and productivity rely heavily on how fast this cooling process takes place.
Our client was facing a productivity issue due to the excessive wear of the copper cooling cores. The wear to the chrome coating caused the part to fail every two or three days. Production would then be shut down while the part was cleared. In addition to this required maintenance, the entire mold would be completely resurfaced with chrome every three months, resulting in more lost production time. The client investigated various options, such as using thicker tubing to lengthen tube life, or utilizing harder materials to reduce wear. But these two options slowed the copper tube’s cooling time, resulting in increased cycle times and lower productivity.
After analyzing the customer’s production process, Kennametal Stellite™ recommended applying a thin coat of Stellite® 6 powder using our HVOF process. This highly durable coating solved the wear problem, and only minimally changed the cooling time, keeping cycle times virtually unchanged. Since the application of Stellite® 6 powder more than 3 years ago, the customer has not needed to resurface the copper cores again, saving an estimated X hours of lost production time.
Kennametal Stellite takes great pride in our ability to listen to the client, understand the problem, and work collaboratively to find the best solution.