Laser cleaning of molds for the Pirelli plant
Pokkels’ goal is to create laser devices that are easy and comfortable to use. To do this, we select the optimal equipment, optics and adjust the parameters. In 2021 we solved a similar task for the Pirelli tire factory. You can find details of our work in this article
About the company and the mission
Pirelli is one of the world’s largest tire manufacturers. Pirelli specialists regularly look for new technologies to modernize their production processes. They approached us with the task of selecting the necessary equipment for cleaning tire molds.
Previous processing methods
The main problem with this method is the gradual wear and tear of the mold. The main problem with this method is the gradual wear of the mold, the cost of which is commensurate with the price of laser equipment. For this reason, mold cleaning was postponed until the accumulation of contaminants led to a defective tire.
Pokkels work stag
1. General laser performance evaluation
Selecting a laser device starts with testing basic models. Pirelli provided us with a sample of the molds, which we cleaned with a F-Clean BP 100W mobile backpack. Then we examined the laser exposure to make sure there were no structural changes or damage to the surface.
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2. Equipment selection
The only requirement to the laser system specified by the customer was productivity The laser cleaning speed should have allowed to process 10 sets of molds per day. That’s why to achieve such results we needed high power and optimal parameters of the laser device. For this reason we decided to test two models: the F-Clean CS-M 300W case and the F-Clean RK 500W rack.
The tests directly at the Pirelli factory showed that the F-Clean CS-M 300W case is not powerful enough to deliver the required performance. The 500 W F-Clean RK, on the other hand, is able to cover more surface area in the same amount of time thanks to its high power and ability to increase the size of the laser spot without wasting power.
You can clearly see the difference in laser cleaning speed in the two videos below:
Laser cleaning with F-Clean CS-M case
Laser cleaning with F-Clean RK rack
3. Mode setting
Once you have decided on a model and power, you need to fine-tune the range of modes of the laser system. Without the limitations of the settings, there is a risk of selecting the wrong mode and damaging the product. Since the operator will be cleaning the mold in manual mode, it is important for him to control only the processing time.
Pirelli has received a state-of-the-art device for cleaning tire molds without damaging the surface or side contamination. The laser unit does not require consumables other than electricity at the rate of 1 kW per 1 m². Thanks to the lightness and speed of the treatment, the cleaning of molds is not delayed until it is completely dirty. For this reason, Pirelli has reduced the number of rejects and increased the production rate.
- Longer mold life
- Easier cleaning process
- Reduced cost of machining
- Reduced scrap rate
- Increase the production rate.