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Home3D PrintingCase Examine: Jap Rail Company

Case Examine: Jap Rail Company


Bettering Injection Molding Effectivity with Conformal Cooling

Based in 2007, Jap Rail Company constructed a fame on designing sustainable, high-quality options for the Metro Rail infrastructure within the US. For a selected part—an insulator that isolates the electrified third rail in underground subway programs–Jap Rail wanted to replace the fabric to satisfy security requirements. A swap to Polyphenylene Sulfide (PPS) subsequently required a reevaluation of the present mould. To deal with this subject, Jap Rail approached Linear AMS, a Shapeways Firm, looking for partnership in creating an modern resolution to boost performance and effectivity.

Jap Rail is a long-standing buyer, supporting transit businesses in metropolitan areas like New York Metropolis, Washington, D.C., and Miami, the place city rail programs continuously function in underground tunnels. Such an atmosphere calls for elements with particular dielectric properties, safeguarding towards undesirable electrical prices and permitting for more practical administration of underground prepare traces.

Incorporating Superior Cooling Expertise

Injection molding producers typically face challenges associated to lengthy cycle instances, half high quality, and general effectivity. Conformal cooling expertise particularly resolves these issues. Counting on 3D printing for personalisation and effectivity, conformal cooling adapts to suit into industrial molds. 

In distinction to standard strategies, that are restricted to machining in straight traces, conformal traces are designed to observe the form of the half itself–resulting in a extra constant temperature all through the half’s cooling stage. Which means that components are much less more likely to warp, whereas additionally cooling as much as 50% sooner. With conformal cooling, producers can cut back their cycle time and enhance their throughput, all whereas bettering half high quality. 

For Jap Rail, integrating this expertise produced extra constant temperatures in tooling, resulting in extra environment friendly manufacturing cycles, satisfying stringent necessities for dependable and environment friendly rail programs.

NY Subway Rails

Bettering Tooling for Advanced Supplies

Initially, Jap Rail encountered challenges as a result of advanced half design and core mould options, mixed with the character of Xencor™ PPS LGF-3045, a forty five% long-glass, fiber-reinforced Polyphenylene Sulfide (PPS).

Whereas offering useful properties like warmth resistance and sturdiness, PPS additionally presents manufacturing difficulties. Linear carried out a complete evaluation, revealing that Jap Rail’s present tooling with standard cooling–together with a PPS materials–wouldn’t produce a moldable half.

“I used to be conscious a brand new method could be mandatory with the change in materials,” stated Mickey Morales, CEO of Jap Rail. “After working with Linear for the previous decade, I used to be assured of their engineering experience and knew they have been able to delivering the dynamic resolution this venture wanted.”
To deal with these points, Linear and Jap Rail labored side-by-side for months in prototyping and testing, experimenting with molds and the mixing of 3D printed conformal cooling traces.

Upon preliminary evaluation, the workforce urged making the change to a metal mould over aluminum for manufacturing volumes. The PPS materials is extremely corrosive and would deteriorate the aluminum mould. Transitioning to a metal mould additionally opened up the potential for utilizing conformal cooling to permit for higher thermal management. Moreover, primarily based on the molding temperature necessities of PPS, the workforce decided sizzling oil could be mandatory to take care of instrument temperature, versus water which is extra generally used.

“The shift to metal molds considerably reworked our method, working a lot better with the distinctive traits of PPS and the necessity for a exact, managed molding atmosphere,” stated John Tenbusch, Director of Automotive Gross sales at Shapeways.

Mildew insert designed with conformal cooling

“After working with Linear [A Shapeways Company] for the previous decade, I used to be assured of their engineering experience and knew they have been able to delivering the dynamic resolution this venture wanted.”

Mickey Morales, CEO of Jap Rail

Lowering Cycle Instances & Bettering Half High quality

The introduction of conformal cooling was extremely efficient, yielding a exceptional enchancment in effectivity after Linear launched metal tooling. Implementing conformal cooling led to a design adjustment that considerably minimize prices. Interchangeable inserts, often requiring three cores, have been diminished to only one.

“We needed to incorporate cooling a method or one other,” stated David Dickerson, Supervisor of Consumer Companies at Shapeways. “With out conformal cooling, we couldn’t have made the interchangeable components we wanted for the assorted sizes of the insulator.”

With the brand new metal molds and conformal cooling inserts, the Linear workforce was capable of cut back the cycle time from 181 seconds to 138 seconds, reflecting a 23% enchancment. Diminished manufacturing time permits for extra components to be made, decreasing each piece value and general program value, with out sacrificing half high quality. The extra even, managed temperatures additionally led to the manufacturing of higher-quality, extra dependable components.

Whereas the preliminary prototyping and testing section required important time and monetary funding, the associated fee financial savings over the long run greater than justified the upfront expenditure. The improved materials sturdiness, decrease upkeep wants, and elevated manufacturing speeds collectively contributed to important long-term financial benefit for Jap Rail.

“Whereas we encountered a number of obstacles throughout our journey, Linear’s workforce of specialists was once more capable of present a extremely engineered resolution whereas offering cost-saving advantages,” stated Mickey Morales, CEO of Jap Rail.

All cooling traces

Aligning with Regulatory and Environmental Concerns

Jap Rail’s openness to new options enabled enhancements with each brief and long-term advantages, assembly industry-specific wants whereas sustaining a dedication to environmentally pleasant supplies and regulatory compliance.

This case examine presents helpful problem-solving insights for points associated to supplies, tooling, and cooling. These options could also be relevant to different manufacturing sectors as properly. Total, this venture showcases the worth of teamwork, innovation, and excellence in manufacturing

Discover out extra about how Shapeways can collaborate along with your firm.

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