Companies unveil latest mold technologies

May 25, 2016

SmartMold, a PC-based data-gathering technology for molds introduced last year by the Mold-Masters division of Milacron Inc., Batavia, Ohio, is now being installed and tested on all new Milacron PET molds and co-injection molds, said CTO Bruce Catoen.

SmartMold fully integrates with sensors placed in the hot runner to monitor aspects of the process, including uptime, cycle times, pressures and temperature.

Mold-Masters is working to add central storage of mold setup data, including the injection molding machine and the auxiliaries in the molding cell.

Users can configure the unit to recommend an action — such as preventive maintenance — when there is an operational extreme or when a pre-set cycle count is reached. Catoen said SmartMold will be able to improve mold uptime, product yields, mold and machine performance, energy consumption and part quality. Data from the device can be accessed remotely through a single wire communication connection.

SmartMold can eliminate the need for parting line sensors, pressure transducers and thermocouples. The technology can notify the user and its supplier of the pending need for parts or service. Users can interface with SmartMold through a PC, tablet or smartphone. 


PCS Co., Fraser, Mich., launched Onyx, a new multicavity hot-runner temperature controller for 12 or 24 zones of control. Onyx is offered in two models, a TC1200 unit that provides 12 zones of control, and the TC2400, designed for 24 zones of control, said Paul Hauser, hot-runner systems sales manager. The compact Onyx system joins two other models in PCS' product line — its standard temperature control system, which controls up to 48 zones, and its Visions 3000 system, which offers up to 256 zones of hot-runner control.

Features include an HMI with a 7-inch, full-color LCD touch-screen and a compact cabinet designed for ease of maintenance. Functions include self-diagnostics of heaters and thermocouples, synchronous heating and cooling capability, automatic soft start and auto tuning, selectable alarm modes, boost/stand capability and thermocouple slaving.

Onyx has an operating temperature range from 32 degrees to 999 degrees Fahrenheit. A control algorithm with automatic temperature tuning delivers a rapid response to temperature adjustment and accurately controls the temperature to within 1 degree Fahrenheit of the set point.

The Onyx includes a USB port for data exchange, diagnostic history and job process reporting.

Mikell Knights, senior correspondent

[email protected]


Milacron LLC/Mold-Masters Ltd., 905-877-0185,

PCS Co., 586-294-7780,