CASE STUDY: Automotive Door Handle Mold Manufacturing

door handle
Automotive Plastic Door Handle Cover

I. Introduction:

The Automotive Door Handle Mold Manufacturing case study holds exceptional importance in the realm of injection molding and precision manufacturing. It showcases how advanced technologies and innovative solutions can address complex challenges in the automotive industry.

This case study explores the intricate journey of precision molding, encapsulating the essence of what it takes to meet the most demanding customer requirements and deliver solutions that exemplify accuracy, reliability, and efficiency.

At the core of this narrative lies the exemplary work of TDL, a leader in the injection mold and IMG nickel shell tool supply industry.

In this study, we’ll unravel the significance of TDL’s technological prowess in addressing a client’s distinct needs and challenges. We’ll navigate through the multifaceted world of mold manufacturing, design intricacies, the role of mold flow analysis, precision machining, and quality control.

We’ll also consider the innovative solutions that bridge the divide between client expectations and manufacturing excellence while unravelling the innovative solutions that TDL brought to the table.

II. Achieving Customer’s Request

When the client approached TDL for the Automotive Door Handle Mold Manufacturing project, they had a clear set of high-precision requirements in mind. The core customer requests revolved around achieving a level of accuracy that is paramount in gear components. The specific requirements included:

  • High accuracy about gear tooth surface accuracy: The gears had to meet strict criteria in terms of surface accuracy, including precise gear tooth profiles, pitch error, gear deviation, gear roundness, and parallelism.
  • High request on runout error of gear groove (Fr): Gear runout error, denoted as Fr, was a critical parameter, and the client emphasized its strict compliance.
  • Short lead time: The project was time-sensitive, and a quick turnaround was crucial to meet the client’s production schedule.

Gears play a pivotal role in any machinery that requires the transmission of rotation and power. To ensure optimal performance, it is essential to achieve impeccable gear accuracy. High-precision gear components are not only efficient but also operate quietly, contributing to the overall product quality.

The challenge was clear; TDL needed to meet these stringent requirements while adhering to a tight project timeline. TDL’s expertise in precision manufacturing and state-of-the-art technology became the key drivers to fulfilling the client’s needs.

Door hand engineering
Door handle description

III. Mold Description

The Automotive Door Handle Mold designed for this project is nothing short of a marvel. Its key features and characteristics include:

1. Seamless Surface with No Parting Line: The most striking demand from the client was the need for a perfect door handle that bore no parting lines. TDL’s engineering team meticulously worked to design a mold capable of achieving this impeccable requirement.

2. Perfect Chrome Painting Finish: The automotive industry places immense value on aesthetic quality. The mold had to deliver a surface finish that was not just flawless but also ideal for chrome painting. Achieving this was a testament to TDL’s commitment to precision.

door hand Draft analysis and design
Door handle mold design

IV. Mold Design

The intricacies of the mold design were of paramount importance:

1. 1L+1R Cavities: TDL adopted an integral injection mold structure featuring 1L+1R cavities. This design allowed for efficient, high-volume production.

2. Secondary Core-Pulling Mechanism: Overcoming undercuts in the plastic part was a critical challenge. TDL’s solution was to employ a secondary core-pulling mechanism, using inclined guide column sliders and angle lifters, optimizing the mold structure to achieve the desired outcomes.

3. Efficient Submarine Gate Feeding: TDL’s mold design included a circulating cooling structure and an ejector pin system. Additionally, hot runner technology with submarine gate feeding was used to eliminate the need for manual gate cutting, ensuring an efficient and automated injection molding process.

4. Balanced Glue Feeding for Stress Avoidance: Achieving balance in glue feeding was imperative to prevent stress, uneven shrinkage, and product deformation. This step was vital in ensuring that the molded components met size requirements and quality standards.

Ultimately, the mold design for the Automotive Door Handle was a testament to precision engineering, where each detail was meticulously crafted to meet the high accuracy and aesthetic standards. It successfully combined efficient design elements with technological innovations to ensure the highest quality outcomes.

door hand mold flow analysis
Door handle mold flow analysis

V. Mold Flow Analysis

Mold Flow Analysis is a critical phase in the manufacturing process, and TDL’s approach to this challenge showcases their commitment to precision and problem-solving.

Analysis of Component Thickness and Demolding

The analysis included a meticulous evaluation of component thickness and demolding requirements. These aspects were essential to ensure the accurate and consistent production of the door handle. The results guided the mold design and manufacturing processes, ensuring that the final components met strict quality standards.

Material Data including Viscosity and PVT Properties

In-depth analysis of material data was a pivotal part of the Mold Flow Analysis. It included two key elements:

– Viscosity Curve Variation Chart: Understanding how viscosity changes with shear rate and temperature is crucial to ensure consistent flow properties during injection. It helps prevent issues like incomplete filling or flow irregularities.

– PVT Curve Variation Diagram: The Pressure-Volume-Temperature (PVT) curve provides insights into how the material responds to changes in pressure and temperature. This knowledge is vital for optimizing the injection molding process.

Gating and Venting Design Considerations:

Gating and venting design are vital aspects of ensuring a smooth and reliable injection molding process. The gate location and design impact factors like fill rate, pressure, and part quality. The venting system prevents air entrapment and gas porosity, enhancing the overall quality of the components.

TDL’s rigorous Mold Flow Analysis paid particular attention to these elements, providing valuable insights and data that were instrumental in refining the mold design and manufacturing process.

door hand mold Layout
Door handle mold Layout

VI. Mold Machining

Mold machining is a key step in the journey towards achieving high-precision gear components. Here, TDL’s commitment to precision and their meticulous approach to manufacturing shine brightly.

Gear Tooth Machining:

The production of helical gears requires an exceptionally high level of precision. TDL’s approach to machining these gears is nothing short of exemplary. They employ gear electrodes to machine helical gears in a spiral manner. This method ensures that the manufacturing precision of helical gears is of the highest standard.

What sets TDL apart is their simultaneous machining of A and B plates through slow wire cutting. This simultaneous machining ensures the precise positioning of coaxial components, a critical requirement for maintaining gear precision.

CMM Inspection and Accuracy Assurance:

Quality control is paramount, and that’s where Coordinate Measuring Machine (CMM) inspection comes into play. TDL diligently inspects every mold electrode and mold component. The goal is to verify the accuracy of the gear mold, ensuring that each component aligns perfectly with the design specifications.

The meticulous nature of CMM inspection exemplifies TDL’s unwavering commitment to quality and precision.

VII. Quality Control

For any injection molding company that knows its onions, quality control is a non-negotiable aspect of every process, and TDL demonstrates their dedication to this principle with utmost diligence.

High Accuracy and Strict Fr Value Requirements:

The automotive door handle mold project imposes rigorous demands, especially when it comes to gear components. High accuracy is not just a goal; it’s a requirement. Achieving precision in gear tooth surface accuracy, pitch error, gear deviation, gear roundness, and parallelism is imperative.

The Fr value, which measures gear runout error, adheres to stringent standards. This precision is not just an expectation; it’s a necessity for optimal gear functionality. TDL’s approach to meeting these requirements showcases their unwavering commitment to excellence.

The Importance of a Rotating Ejector System:

For helical gears, one of the innovative approaches TDL employs is the use of a rotating ejector system. This system ensures a smooth and efficient ejection process, contributing to the overall quality of the gear components. The inclusion of bearings in the ejection system allows the core insert to rotate seamlessly with the helical gear.

This innovative solution exemplifies TDL’s ability to address unique challenges in the manufacturing process with creativity and precision.

Short Lead Time Considerations:

In today’s fast-paced manufacturing landscape, short lead times are not just an expectation but a requirement. TDL recognizes the significance of timely production. Their approach combines efficiency and precision to deliver high-quality gear components within shorter timeframes.

door hand Draft analysis and design
Door handle Draft analysis

VIII. Difficulty Solutions

Dealing with high-precision components, such as gear teeth, and ensuring they meet the exacting requirements set out by the customer is no small feat. However, TDL demonstrates their ability to overcome these challenges through a combination of expertise, innovation, and state-of-the-art manufacturing practices.

Gear Tooth Machining:

The precision of gear components is essential, and TDL achieves this with an advanced approach to gear tooth machining. Helical gears, used in the project, are machined with the utmost precision. The manufacturing of helical electrodes involves a spiral machining technique. This high level of precision is crucial to ensure gear functionality.

To maintain the coaxial alignment and precise positioning of gear components, A.B plates are simultaneously machined by slow wire cutting. This meticulous approach exemplifies TDL’s commitment to achieving the highest standards of precision.

Machining of Circular Tube Block on the Parting Surface:

Meticulous attention is given to the machining requirements of the circular tube block on the parting surface. A and B plates, essential components of the mold structure, undergo machining by slow wire cutting simultaneously. This approach is critical in ensuring that the components are precisely positioned, contributing to the overall accuracy of the mold.

Precision Mold Polishing:

Mold polishing is a nuanced process. Achieving the required precision necessitates specific guidelines. When it comes to the gear components, the tooth surface and edges must not be polished. Rather, the desired surface roughness is achieved through Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM) processes. TDL’s adherence to these precise guidelines ensures that the gear components are not only accurate but also maintain their structural integrity.

Role of High-End Fixtures and Equipment:

Within the realm of precision manufacturing, the role of fixtures and equipment is pivotal. High-end fixtures and mold manufacturing equipment, in particular, play a crucial role in achieving the required precision. The precise positioning, machining, and quality control procedures are only made possible through the use of these state-of-the-art tools.

TDL’s choice to import equipment from high-end brands such as Fanuc, Okuma, Makino, Mirrordick, and Hexagon underlines their commitment to the use of the best available tools to meet customer requirements and maintain efficiency.

door hand mold Ejector system
Door Handle Mold Ejector System

IX. Conclusion

In a nutshell, we’ve expanded on the intricate world of the precision molding in this study on Automotive Door Handle Mold Manufacturing, where precision remains critical. Essentially this study has brought to light several factors, including TDL’s customer-centric approach which often set the stage.

Also, their unwavering commitment to quality and ingenious mold design showcases a blend of precision and innovation. but more importantly, TDL has been able to show that material selection plays a critical role in achieving desired characteristics and performance. 

Ultimately, a strict quality control regime ensures conformance to given requirements, while overcoming challenges through innovative techniques demonstrates both versatility and adaptability.

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