Improving the final quality of ceramic products and achieving savings in the pressing process are major objectives of Molde Azul. In 2016, Molde Azul introduced the isostatic upper plates, a pressure compensation system by applying an oil hydraulic system that prevents the compaction differences between punches, thus achieving pressing uniformity in the different cavities.
Nowadays, the company goes further in the evolution of this concept with the launch of the IMC System (Improved Mechanical Compensation System), which is an important improvement in the compensation system of these plates internally developed by the technical team of Molde Azul.
Hydraulic compensation can have oil losses in the hydraulic circuit connecting the different cavities, which can cause production stops and efficiency losses. The new IMC System improves the compensation of the plate by incorporating a mechanical system to the hydraulic system.
On the other hand, the mechanical compensation is a more reliable system with lower maintenance costs, therefore, with this new update the mechanical system works and supports more effort when transmitting the pressure between the different cavities. For this reason, the durability of IMC System isostatic plates is increased to the point that they can be compared to non-isostatic upper plates, without losing the great production benefit of pressure compensation provided by IMC System isostatic upper plates.
The new IMC System, is composed of the improved hydraulic system and the new mechanical system. The mechanical part is designed to play a major role in pressure compensation. This new design consists of a series of spherical plain bearings that limit the movement provided by the hydraulic system, and in turn support the high pressures at which the isostatic plate works.
IMC System upper plates also have the important characteristic of being able to be eletropermanent, that is, the system of fixing the upper punches to the upper plate, is achieved by applying an electrical impulse which polarises the poles of each of the punch holders, fixing at the same time the upper punches to it. As it is a single impulse, the upper plate does not have to be connected to the direct current during the working time, avoiding possible accidents due to the loss of current that could cause the demagnetisation of the upper punches and their fall (possible damage to the operators working on the press, to the mould and to the upper punches due to their fall). When one or more upper punches are to be changed, the press operator has the option to individually select which one or more he wants to change, and apply another electric impulse to polarize the punch holder and change it in complete safety.
Therefore, the new IMC System allows Molde Azul customers to have important competitive advantages, among which we would like to highlight:
- Reduction of the number of calibers in production, which means increased production of first quality material.
- Higher and deeper reliefs – which allows our design department a greater creative freedom.
- Greater pressing balance in all mould cavities.
- Reduction of another pressing problems such as tile mismatches.
- The maintenance of these plates is comparable to the conventional non isostatic upper plates.
- As it is an electropermanent upper plate, greater security is achieved against accidents caused for the loss of electric current.
- Versatility when changing upper punches since worker can select punches individually to aply the electrical impulse needed to polarize them.
The evolution of this product is the result of the innovation process and the continous improvement of the I+D+i department of Molde Azul. The company is comitted to the continuous research in order to improve processes, reduce production costs and offer greater competitive advantages to its customers.