Cloud Based Optimisation Of Extrusion Die

 After the design and manufacturing of an extrusion die, a tool must be put into operation, which is a complex process in itself. During the commissioning, iterative tests with the tool are conducted to detect necessary changes of the flow channel design. This very time consuming and cost-intensive process has not changed for decades. The manufacturing and commissioning of a flat slit die can take more than three months. Depending on the die size, costs of more than € 400,000 can occur, e.g. for quality steel, hours of work, commissioning material, etc.

 

Challenge
The aim of the experiment is to optimize the production process with optimized extrusion dies. A particular extrusion die – a flat slit die – is being optimized in this application experiment. Flat slit dies are particularly complex due to structural expansion. The simulation of the interaction of melted plastics with the geometry of the flat slit extrusion die is computationally expensive and technically demanding as fluid-structure interaction appears and need to be coupled in the simulation – actually two simulators need to be coupled to solve for these physical phenomena.
The main challenge in plastic mold extrusion is to generate a uniform flow field across the exit plane of an extrusion die. To simulate this process fluid-structure interaction needs to be put in place accounting also for thermal effects. Coupled simulations are especially demanding as for each time step the result of the fluid solver has to be exchanged with the result of the structure solver, so that the bi-directional influences (forces) can be taken into account for the next solver step. This application experiment approaches this challenge by coupling two cost-efficient, scalable Open Source solvers with a highly customized simulation model for non-Newtonian polymer flow. 

Benefits
EMO will use the optimized extrusion die flow channel designs to produce better and cheaper products. The advanced CFD and CSM technology is planned to be introduced for in-house usage without the need of buying hardware resources and the corresponding administrative effort to maintain them.

EMO can avoid recall actions for each manufactured extrusion die. One recall actions implies costs of approx. € 100,000 for transportation (17 tons weight), modification and commissioning. The recall actions represent up to 30 percent of the production costs. Due to a long-time average of 12 recalls per year this will save € 1.2 Mio. per year. Commissioning time will be reduced down to 70 percent and equals a time-to-market reduction of several weeks. General production costs can be reduced by 30 percent, particularly due to savings of energy, raw materials and personal costs. 

Organizations involved
DHCAE-Tools GmbH - Germany
Arctur - Slovenia