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Process Redesign of a Structural Foam Molded HDPE Trench Drain for the Construction Industry

Our customer was using a competitor’s straight injection molding process to manufacture a line of linear trench drains. These single-cavity molds ran very long cycles and the parts had issues with warp and dimensional tolerances. We helped redesign the line for low-pressure structural foam molding. This includes 17 different size trenches, which are all 80” long, 6” wide and range from 6” to 20” in depth. We achieved a 20% part weight reduction and 40% cycle time reduction, compared with the straight injection parts. We managed the aluminum mold build and designed a pair of tools with interchangeable plates so any two of the 17 sizes can run in one machine at the same time. Long term capability studies were performed to validate new processes and its effects on warp and shrink/expansion over time and temperature variations.

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Highlights of the Process Redesign of a Structural Foam Molded HDPE Trench Drain Project

Product Name
Linear Drainage / Trench Drain
Product Description
This trench drain is used to redirect water to a specific location.
Industry for Use
Construction
Applications
Residential, Transportation, Sport, Utility, Commercial, Industrial, Civil, Mechanical
Capabilities Applied/Processes
Primary:
Co-Engineering
  • Process Design/Process Redesign
  • Tooling Design
  • Mold Build
Structural Foam Molding (Low-Pressure)

Secondary:
Custom Assemblies to Print for Job Sites
Tooling
Interchangeable Plates
  • Any two of the 17 sizes can run in one machine at the same time
  • Manufactured to close tolerances for interchangeability
Tooling Material Used
Aluminum Core and Cavity Plates
Equipment Used to Make Tooling
Haas Gantry Mill
Equipment Used to Mold Part
Uniloy Milacron Low Pressure Structural Foam 500 ton Machine
Overall Part Dimensions
Length: 80”
Width: 6”
Height: 6" - 20"
Weight: 12 lbs. - 27 lbs.
Wall Thickness: 0.200 - 0.375"
Tightest Tolerances
Dimensions: ± 0.062” to ± 0.250”
Wall Thickness: ± 0.010”
Material Used
High Density Polyethylene with Nitrogen Injected
Benefits/Features
Part Weight Reduction: 20%
Cycle Time Reduction: 40%
In Process Testing/Inspection Performed
Long term capability studies were performed to validate new processes and its effects on warp and shrink/expansion over time and temperature variations
Volume
Tens of Thousands Annually
Delivery/Turnaround Time
Stock all 17 SKUs.
Available J.I.T Shipment.
Standards Met
Customer Specifications, 2D CAD Drawing Specifications
Secondary Operations
Welding Plastic and Metal
Metal Cutting and Machining
Custom Palletizing
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