IML ROBOTS & AUTOMATION
StackTeck has been a pioneer in molds and label insertion mechanical robots since the 1990’s.
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STACKTECK’S ROBOTS - IML ROBOTS ARE:
Ultra-precise and constructed with the highest quality components for robustness, and offers flexibility and reconfigurability. It is designed to be universal and versatile, with industry-best lead times for availability.

The design of the plastic part, the labels, the engineering of the injection mold, and the construction of the IML automation are all important and unique aspects to a successfully functioning system.

Key to the success and productivity of the IML process is the design and manufacturing of the IML automation system, in other words, the integrated label and part handling system. The automation consists of a system of parts which must repeatedly transfer the precut decorated labels from a series of magazines, apply electrostatic charge to the labels, and precisely place the labels into the mold cavities. Precision of placement into the cavity by the IML robot during each and every cycle is key.

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Multi-Gating leverages 2 or more hot runner gates per part to improve part filling. The benefits include moving the gate closer to end-of-fill, reducing the overall flow length “L”. The light-weighting potential depends on the aspect ratio of the part, but multi-gating has demonstrated part weight reduction by up to 15%.



StackTeck’s ability to custom design and manufacture the hot runner makes it feasible to offer effective multi-gating for a variety of applications. Optimized gate location is critical to minimizing injection pressure and clamp tonnage to run the tool in an appropriate machine.



Multiple gates can help in many ways to improving and lightweighting injection molded components.  Each project will have its own demands and priorities – this is where the simulation will put those gates in the proper positions to achieve those particular goals.



For multiple gate parts , melt flow analysis software is a powerful simulation tool to help determine the optimum gate locations providing the best balance of injection pressure, gas trap prevention, even part fill, packing, clamp tonnage and overall part quality.  This illustration of a melt flow analysis shows a comparison between 4 scenarios.



A typical single gate location for this rectangular container will generate approximately 11,000 psi just for filling the part.  It will have an uneven packing condition since the plastic will not reach the end of fill around the perimeter at the same time. When we add a 2nd gate to the part and position them as shown in the top right graphic, you can see the results of a significant reduction in injection pressure – just over 31% – from the part with a single gate.

Take a look at the sketch at the bottom left where we have 3 gates.  This scenario didn’t really help to reduce injection pressure compared the 2 gate option but it may have other benefits for better fill characteristics.  Analyzing the melt flow through a moving simulation will help determine if this is a useful 3 gate solution.

In the final scenario, the 5 gate layout gives us another good reduction in injection pressure.

Other proven injection molding solutions from our toolbox for more sustainable, lighter-weight, plastics packaging:

Ultra-Fast Injection
Microcellular Molding
TRIM – Thin Recess Injection Molding
Injection Compression Molding

PHOTO CAPTION - Reach the end of fill around the perimeter at the same ti.
PHOTO CAPTION - Reach the end of fill around the perimeter at the same ti.
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