NPE: Controllers add remote monitoring, self-tuning

July 21, 2015

Hot-runner temperature controllers unveiled at NPE add capabilities for remote monitoring, better self-tuning, faster setup and related functions.


Incoe Corp., Troy, Mich., rolled out its MV2 series of hot-runner temperature control, which offers 12 to 144 zones of control. The company says the new controller is ideal for high-cavitation precision molding and incorporates advanced control logic engineered for a consistent and repeatable process.

Features include fast setup, initiated through an onboard memory function that saves and retrieves up to 16 different mold setups. Additional functions include what Incoe calls Moldscan technology, which can perform an electrical analysis of the heating elements, monitor external events with an input for an external alarm and record controller data for root cause analysis when reject parts are produced.

MV2 has an integrated 7-inch color touch screen and is operated using a microprocessor-based control architecture that offers advanced, permanent, self-tuning software. Other functions include automatic or manual operating modes and a selection of four soft-start routines. A built-in protection system includes a power monitoring function that detects abnormal changes in zone function and a feature that detects material leakage and pinched thermocouples. When a thermocouple break is detected, system protection automatically transfers control to manual mode for continued operation.



Gammaflux LP, Sterling, Va., introduced two options to its G24 series of hot-runner temperature controls and updated its Mold Wizard tool for the system, which provides 18 to 480 zones of control.

A new water-flow monitoring option employs dual-output flow and temperature sensors to ensure adequate water flow in the hot-runner mold. Ensuring properly chilled, circulating water in the molding cell protects valve-gate and water seals from overheating and potentially leaking, says Mike Brostedt, director of market development.

The water-flow monitoring feature employs dual-output sensors that check water flow and water temperature throughout the tool. The option is offered in a standard version that features 16 analog channels using eight dual-output sensors, while an optional version provides 32 channels of monitoring using 16 dual-output sensors.

The water-monitoring option can be added to any G24 controller with the addition of a hot-runner temperature control card that captures the sensor data. Users can set operating parameters for water temperature and water flow. The G24 controller can issue an alarm, time stamp the event and stop production. The water-monitoring option also includes a data-logging capability that allows the user to graph results on a single chart for up to four days of continuous operation.

Gammaflux developed a machine-mount bracket option that lets the user move the temperature controller off the production floor. Users can connect the temperature controller to the molding cell with mold cables — offered in lengths up to 55 feet — to save floor space. The Gammaflux interface can also be remotely controlled with a virtual network computing Ethernet connection. The complete set of controller diagnostics and features, including screens and touch commands, can be replicated and accessed remotely through the Ethernet link.

Gammaflux's new Mold Wizard for the G24 controller, which is designed to be understood with just 5 minutes of training, guides the user through seven basic steps.


Mold-Masters Ltd., Georgetown, Ontario, has improved the fill and flow control features of its TempMaster M-series range of hot-runner temperature controls for optimal performance. The TempMaster M2, iM2 and MT models of hot-runner temperature controls, which collectively provide from two to 560 zones of configurable control, incorporate the new functionality. All the systems are plug-and-play, ready for quick installation and startup.

In addition, the TempMaster M2 units feature a new purge wizard for improved color change as well as a new energy monitor.

Mold-Masters also introduced SmartMold, a PC-based technology that senses and records details of the mold that can be transferred to a production monitoring system.

The SmartMold system fully integrates with sensors in the hot runner, strain gage, thermocouple or accelerometer, and can monitor aspects of the process, including uptime and cycle times, pressurization, temperature, excessive clamping force and abuse of the mold. Users can configure the unit to recommend an action — such as preventive maintenance — when there is an operational extreme or a pre-set cycle count is reached.

The SmartMold can eliminate the need for parting line sensors, pressure transducers, wiring and thermocouples, says Mold-Masters. The technology can also notify the user and its supplier of the pending need for parts or service. Users can interface with SmartMold using its compact, touch screen or through a smartphone.


SISE Plastics Control Systems Inc., Atlanta, announced its new M-series multi-zone controller for hot-runner systems, designed for eight to 144 zones of control. The controller can govern hot-runner systems used in automotive, packaging, cosmetic and medical applications, says Sean Cassidy, North American operations manager.

The M-series controller includes a new version of the company's permanent, self-tuning control software. Improvements in the software's monitoring capabilities can help ensure a long lifespan for the heating elements.

Other new features include a choice of four soft-start programs, and a new function called PTI, which detects a reversed thermocouple, a pinched thermocouple or a wrongly configured slaved thermocouple. The unit is easier to operate with two new optional 10-inch or 15-inch color touch-screen interfaces. An LCD interface is standard.


Fast Heat Inc., Elmhurst, Ill., announced new remote monitoring capabilities for its Ion and Pulse line of hot-runner temperature controllers, and also rolled out new diagnostic tools that help the user more quickly spot problems within a hot-runner system and mold.

Fast Heat's new software allows wireless connectivity, remote monitoring and cloud-based and predictive analytics for its Ion series hot-runner temperature controller, designed for low-cavitation molds with up to 24 zones of temperature control, and for its Pulse series hot-runner controller for high-cavitation molds with 26 or more zones of temperature control.

A proprietary wireless chip in the units enables customers to see inside their production environment remotely from a smartphone, tablet or desktop computer, says Deb Dynako, marketing manager. What's more, predictive analytics within the software can anticipate problems in the tool and send an alert if there is a failure. Highly connective part processing through cloud-based computing underscores a new direction for hot-runner temperature controls, says Dynako.

In addition, both the Ion and Pulse lines of temperature controllers feature a new touch-screen interface that eases process programming and process adjustment.

Fast Heat also introduced CableXChecker, a diagnostic tool that lets the user identify hot-runner cables with connection problems before production begins. The portable unit is powered using a 9-volt battery.

Each CableXChecker is customized to the molder's wiring diagram standards. Users plug a cable into the mounted connector to test each individual zone in both thermocouple and heater cables. Testing is done by turning a dial on the instrument panel of the unit to a point that corresponds to a particular zone.

An LED signal will light up a button on the panel during the check. The buttons follow the order of the wiring diagram. If the LED fails to light, it indicates an open link in the cable. If more than one LED is illuminated, it indicates a short in the cable.


Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd., Bolton, Ontario, says the new servo control for its Altanium hot-runner controller enables servo motors to replace mold pneumatics or hydraulics, which helps the user achieve mold qualification more quickly and with higher reliability and repeatability. The controller offers simpler process setup, adjustment and traceability when servos are incorporated in the mold.

The servo product also incorporates Husky's hot-runner temperature and valve-gate control into a single, easy-to-use unit. Husky offers the Altanium Neo2 controller for two to 48 zones, the Altanium Delta3 controller for as many as 128 zones of control and the Altanium Matrix2 controller for as many as 254 zones. The Matrix2 features Husky's Active Reasoning Technology, which optimizes the thermal performance for each heater for superior temperature control in each zone.

Mikell Knights, senior correspondent

[email protected]


Fast Heat Inc., 630-359-6300,

Gammaflux LP, 703-471-5050,

Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd., 905-951-5000,

Incoe Corp., 248-616-0220,

Mold-Masters Ltd., 905-877-0185,

SISE Plastics Control Systems Inc., 404-495-5968,