Laser cleaning of molds

Manufacturers of rubber, plastic and glass products have to clean the molds. Accumulated carbon deposits, grease clots, damage to the mold from mechanical cleaning or sandblasting lead to rejected finished products.

Laser equipment will help you solve these problems and increase the service life of molds. From this article you will learn:


Laser cleaning and conventional methods

Mold after laser cleaning

There are three types of cleaning most commonly used to clean molds: mechanical, sandblasting and chemical cleaning. The technological processes of these methods are different, but they have common disadvantages.

They are time consuming

With any method of cleaning, the mold must cool down and be dismantled and taken to a separate room for cleaning. After cleaning, the mold shall be returned to the machine and heated. All this together increases downtime of the equipment.

Why laser?

Laser radiation can clean the mold at the workplace. It is enough to treat the surface with the laser and you can continue to use it.

The entire process takes no more than half an hour for large forms or no more than 15 minutes for small forms.

They can damage the mold

Mechanical and sandblasting may cause deformation of the mold, and chemical blasting may cause craters to appear on the surface.

They increase the probability of manufacturing defects. Due to damage, even more carbon deposits and grease clots accumulate. 

As a result, the form becomes unusable and you have to spend money on repairing it or buying a new one. 

Why laser?

Laser radiation does not affect the surface itself. Therefore, its geometry is preserved and its service life increases.

They require a separate room for cleaning

Dirt from sandblasting or caustic chemical solutions requires a separate room to clean the molds.

Why laser?

Cleaning is carried out directly at the workplace. No need to stop the conveyor, because the mold can not be removed from the machine.

They leave by-products

After sandblasting, there is still dirt to be removed. Chemicals require disposal. As a result, you have to spend additional resources: hire employees for cleaning and housekeeping, pay for services for the chemical waste disposal.

Why laser?

No by-products. All cleanable contaminants evaporate. You do not even need to wipe the mold after laser cleaning.

Laser cleaning requires just one person — a laser operator.

Cleaning the mold for plastic lids with laser beam

Technology

F-Clean laser cleaning systems are designed so that only the layers of dirt evaporate during cleaning. The surface to be cleaned is not damaged at all. This effect is achieved through a wide range of laser parameter settings. You can read more about the laser cleaning process in a dedicated article.

We help to set up the equipment for each customer. The device comes with user manual, recommendations and video tutorials. It will take your employees a couple of hours to learn how to operate it.

One of the main advantages of laser equipment is the cleaning of molds with any morphology, roughness or dimensions. The laser beam does not flatten corners and does not damage the texture of the surface. Therefore, after cleaning, the surface retains its original appearance, considering the natural wear and tear.

Automation

Laser cleaning can be automated. Such a solution is especially relevant for large production facilities. The laser equipment is customized to the specific mold, so you can set a specific time interval when the mold is automatically cleaned. For example, to clean the mold after the production of every tenth product. There are no restrictions on size, performance or location.

This way, the machine can run for 24 hours without stopping, and you can save human resources. Your employees can perform other tasks in production while the laser cleans the molds.

Pokkels is ready to develop an automatic laser cleaning system and integrate it into your equipment.

Cost-effectiveness

Laser equipment costs more than other cleaning solutions. But it requires no consumables. You pay just once for the equipment. The only additional cost is electricity. The laser consumes 1 kW per 1m2 of the surface to be cleaned.

To return investment for your laser equipment, you need to use it regularly. If your company does not clean molds on a regular basis, you may provide mold cleaning services for other companies. So you have the opportunity to open a new line of business.

Pokkels also offers the service of buying laser equipment on lease.

Cleaning the mold from rubber deposits

Advantages of laser cleaning

  • Cleaning of all types of molds — the laser can be moved between machines and clean any molds.
  • No consumables — only electricity at the rate of 1 kW per 1m².
  • Cleaning of reliefs of any complexity — the laser beam cleans the smallest details of the mold.
  • High cleaning speed — large mold within half an hour. 
  • Increased life of the mold — the laser does not damage the surface of the mold, it only affects contaminants.
  • Cleaning the mold without removing it from the machine — the mold can be cleaned while it is hot. 
  • One person to cleanyou only need an operator to operate the laser. 
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