In injection molding, plastic is used instead of die cast metal and analysis tools mold plastic and not the die cast metal. The key to manufacturing a quality plastic component is a flawless mold, especially one that molds into predetermined shapes. Mold Flow Analysis (MFA) software stimulates material flow and allows designers to mold the design and create high-end plastic components with Design for Manufacturing (DFM). Mold Flow Analysis also gives designers a sneak peek as to how manufacturing material fills the mold cavity inside the chamber.
Usually, the analysis is done before tool manufacturing commences in the foundry. The MFA software, on the other hand, is used to gauge the mold design and ensure that the plastic or polymer material reproduces high-quality components from each mold cavity. The MFA analysis is not necessary for all kinds of manufacturing project though, and there are many aspects, that determine whether MFA is ideal for a project or not.
Determining Aspects of MFA
Product Geometry and Tolerance – Complex geometries in a component such as thin walls would likely benefit with the use of MFA than not. That is because thin walls flow through less predictable paths inside the chamber. Likewise, tight tolerances benefit from the usage of pre-tooling analysis such as MFA and help in designing the tools.
Scope of Project – The higher the scope of the manufacturing process, the bigger would be the requirement for global technologies and cost-based assessment using MFA software.
The Benefits of Mold Flow Analysis
Apart from uncovering the flaws in design geometry, and resolving wall thickness concerns, the Mold Flow Analysis helps designers to discover air traps, sink marks, as well as weld lines on plastic or polymer parts. When implementing MFA in injection molding, an experienced product manufacturer would review molded plastic via DFM as well.
Types of MFA Software
MFA software is a tool that aids in mold flow analysis, and experts say the cost of implementing software aids can significantly affect the return on investment (ROI). If you are an OEM, and you have a die caster having global processes and statistical tools, you can get high-end products with injection molding too.
Die cast companies use the Autodesk Simulation Moldflow, which was developed all the way back in 1987. Even nowadays, new versions of Autodesk Simulation Moldflow are released year on year. There is also VISI Flow, which helps designers concurrently engineer injection molded plastic components.