Family tooling or how to face low volumes challenges
Products combined in a family – share the same tool – much like other multi cavity products. This generates savings in material and tool production costs. Different products that would otherwise be moulded separately, each in their own tool, are combined in a joint unit – a family.
In addition to the significant savings in tool production, family tools can contribute to increased production volume, improved the production process efficiency and time savings. Family tool decreases manipulation with tools in production, shortens injection moulding cycles and reduces pressure on work resources.
The following points outline the most frequent limitations we encounter when making decisions about combining products into a family tool:
- Different moulding materials– as the parts are moulded at the same time in one tool, all parts must be moulded from the same raw material
- Inappropriate raw materials– the specifics of the raw materials can define a particular tool concept and are consequently a decisive factor in deciding whether the parts can be combined into a family tool or not
- The sizes and volumesof the parts differ – if the parts vary in size and wall thickness, their filling and cooling cycles will be different, which causes imbalances and potential faults; in terms of geometry, the parts should be as similar as possible.
- Gate positioning– gates should be positioned in a way that allows the mass to spread as synchronously and evenly as possible. We often use a combination of gate systems that prevent potential imbalances and ensure the consistent quality of the produced parts.
- Difference in the required quantities of parts– if a larger quantity of one part is required, a joined moulding of both parts is not the best solution; in this case, it makes sense to think about other types of combined tools (e.g. 1+1, 2+2, etc.) or about special gate closing systems.
If you need more information about family tools or other combined tools, feel free to contact our experts who will be happy to advise you on the best solutions.