Mold change equipment and die change equipment is quick change tooling that is used to remove and change molds or dies. Mold and die change equipment consists of mold clamps, bolsters, rails, lifters, extensions, shuttles, trucks and other components and subsystems. Quick mold change and quick die change equipment is used to expedite many different processes. Examples blow molding, compression molding, die casting, die forging, extrusion, injection molding, investment casting, lost foam casting, permanent mold casting, powder metal molding, rotational molding, sand casting, thermoforming, and transfer molding. Mold making processes for metals include permanent mold casting, die casting, and die forging. Mold making processes for rubber and plastics include injection molding, extrusion, and thermoforming.
Selecting mold change equipment and die change equipment requires an analysis of product capabilities and application requirements. There are two basic types of mold and die change equipment: quick change systems and integrated modular systems. Although most quick change tooling systems are modular, not all modular systems use quick change tooling. Important performance specifications to consider include the number of changes per shift and the number of tools per change. In many production facilities, mold and die change equipment is integrated with other machinery and systems to increase efficiency.
Quick change adjustment on mold change equipment can improve product quality while reducing turn around times and lowering costs. For manufacturers that specialize in the production of small lots, tool and die equipment must be easy to setup and change. In response to customer demands, suppliers have implemented quick mold change equipment and quick die change equipment to remain competitive. Mold and die change equipment provides shorter cycle times, better integration with monitoring and controls, shorter setup times and improved efficiency, increased production capacity and reduced downtime, and improved quality and positional repeatability. With machines that provide ease of operation, some activities can be performed by less skilled workers.