Patents Assigned to iMFLUX Inc.
  • Patent number: 11161286
    Abstract: Non-time dependent measured variables are used to effectively determine an optimal hold profile for an expanding crosslinking polymer part in a mold cavity. A system and/or approach may first inject molten expanding crosslinking polymer into a mold cavity, then measure at least one non-time dependent variable during an injection molding cycle. Next, the system and/or method commences a hold profile for the part, and upon completing the hold profile, the part is ejected from the mold cavity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 11, 2018
    Date of Patent: November 2, 2021
    Assignee: IMFLUX INC.
    Inventors: Richard Lewis Montague, II, Rick Alan Pollard, Chow-Chi Huang, Gene Michael Altonen, Kimberly Nichole McConnell, Aaron Timothy Neate
  • Patent number: 11135754
    Abstract: A remote controller can be provided on any apparatus that employs feedback control from a native controller to add functionality to the apparatus where the native controller is not capable of providing such functionality independently.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 14, 2020
    Date of Patent: October 5, 2021
    Assignee: IMFLUX INC.
    Inventors: Brian Matthew Burns, Gene Michael Altonen
  • Patent number: 11072102
    Abstract: Non-time dependent measured variables are used to effectively determine an optimal ejection time of a part from a mold cavity. A system and/or approach may first measure at least one non-time dependent variable during an injection molding cycle. The part is ready to be ejected from the mold upon the measured variable reaching a threshold value indicative of, for example, a part temperature dropping below an activation temperature.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 3, 2018
    Date of Patent: July 27, 2021
    Assignee: IMFLUX, INC.
    Inventors: Nicholas Mulkern Unkovic, Gene Michael Altonen, Daniel Lumpkin, William Francis Lawless, III, H. Kenneth Hanson, III, Chow-Chi Huang
  • Patent number: 11040472
    Abstract: Non-time dependent calculated variables based on measured strain are used to effectively determine an optimal hold profile for an expanding crosslinking polymer part in a mold cavity. A system and/or approach may first inject molten expanding crosslinking polymer into a mold cavity, then measure strain at the mold cavity or at another location within the injection molding system, and then calculate at least one non-time dependent variable during an injection molding cycle. Next, the system and/or method commences a hold profile for the part, and upon completing the hold profile, the part is ejected from the mold cavity, whereupon a cure profile is commenced.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 30, 2018
    Date of Patent: June 22, 2021
    Assignee: IMFLUX INC.
    Inventors: William Francis Lawless, III, Rick Alan Pollard, Gene Michael Altonen, Chow-Chi Huang
  • Patent number: 11034070
    Abstract: A system includes a cavity, an injection nozzle configured to inject material into the cavity, and a plurality of sensors at sensor locations. Each of the plurality of sensors is configured to measure parameters at one of the sensor locations. The system lacks a strain gauge. The system further includes a controller configured to control a flow rate of the injection of material into the cavity. The controller is configured to receive the measured parameters and compare the received information to predetermined curves. The controller is configured to control the flow rate when the measured parameters deviate from the predetermined curves.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 6, 2018
    Date of Patent: June 15, 2021
    Assignee: IMFLUX INC.
    Inventors: Milko Gergov, Chow-Chi Huang, Steve Andrew Burns, Rick Alan Pollard
  • Patent number: 11010816
    Abstract: A method of selecting thermoplastic materials for use with an injection molding apparatus that adjusts viscosity of a thermoplastic material based on an interpreted viscosity is provided. The method includes determining a target MFI for an identified plastic article based on performance properties. A thermoplastic material supply chain is analyzed and a first thermoplastic material having a first starting MFI and a first MFI range is identified and a second thermoplastic material having a second starting MFI and a second MFI range that is greater than the first MFI range is identified and is priced less than the first thermoplastic material. The second thermoplastic material is purchased. The second thermoplastic material is tested by providing the second thermoplastic material to the injection molding apparatus for multiple shot molding cycles with the second thermoplastic material in a molten state.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 25, 2016
    Date of Patent: May 18, 2021
    Assignee: IMFLUX INC
    Inventors: Gene Michael Altonen, Nathan Daniel Estruth, Dennis James Pratel
  • Patent number: 10994461
    Abstract: A remote controller can be provided on any apparatus that employs feedback control from a native controller to add functionality to the apparatus where the native controller is not capable of providing such functionality independently.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 16, 2019
    Date of Patent: May 4, 2021
    Assignee: IMFLUX INC.
    Inventors: Brian Matthew Burns, Gene Michael Altonen
  • Patent number: 10974430
    Abstract: A method of monitoring and controlling a molding clamping apparatus in an injection molding or other molding process is disclosed. The method includes creating a target strain profile, receiving a deviation limit, receiving a change in strain relating to a mold while it is closing from a first strain gauge, identifying a deviation from a target strain profile based on the output from the first strain gauge, determining that the deviation exceeds the deviation limit, and adjusting the rate or force of clamp movement. The target strain profile may have a first portion relating to a clamp closing process, a second portion relating to a filling process, and a third portion relating to a clamp opening process. The first portion relating to the clamp closing process may include an intermediate portion relating to a coining process having an intermediate clamp force setpoint.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 2, 2018
    Date of Patent: April 13, 2021
    Assignee: IMFLUX INC.
    Inventors: William Francis Lawless, III, Rick Alan Pollard, Chow-Chi Huang, Gene Michael Altonen
  • Patent number: 10953583
    Abstract: Non-time dependent measured variables are used to effectively determine an optimal hold profile for an expanding crosslinking polymer part in a mold cavity. A system and/or approach may first inject molten expanding crosslinking polymer into a mold cavity, then measure at least one non-time dependent variable during an injection molding cycle. Next, the system and/or method commences a hold profile for the part, and upon completing the hold profile, the part is ejected from the mold cavity, whereupon a cure profile is commenced.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 11, 2018
    Date of Patent: March 23, 2021
    Assignee: IMFLUX INC.
    Inventors: Richard Lewis Montague, II, Rick Alan Pollard, Chow-Chi Huang, Gene Michael Altonen, Kimberly Nichole McConnell, Aaron Timothy Neate
  • Patent number: 10899058
    Abstract: Embodiments within the scope of the present disclosure are directed to external sensor kits that may be included in new injection molds or retrofitted into existing injection molds in order to approximate conditions within a mold, such as pressure or the location of a melt flow front. Such kits are designed to amplify meaningful measurements obtained by the external sensor kit so that noise measurements do not prevent the approximation of conditions within a mold. In some embodiments within the scope of the present disclosure, an external sensor kit includes a strain gauge sensor, a coupon, a support bracket, and a hammer. The strain gauge sensor is placed on a surface of the coupon and measures the strain in the coupon.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 16, 2019
    Date of Patent: January 26, 2021
    Assignee: IMFLUX INC.
    Inventors: Chow-Chi Huang, Rick Alan Pollard, Gene Michael Altonen
  • Patent number: 10894349
    Abstract: A method of monitoring and controlling a sequential valve gate molding apparatus in an injection molding or other molding process is disclosed. The method includes creating a target strain profile, receiving a deviation limit, receiving a change in strain relating to a first valve gate from a first strain gauge, identifying whether a deviation exists from a first portion of the target strain profile based on the output from the first strain gauge, determining whether any existing deviation exceeds the deviation limit, and adjusting the position of a first valve gate pin in the first valve gate if it does. The method may further include control of subsequent valve gates. Multiple strain gauges may be used to control a single valve gate, and/or each strain gauge may control more than one valve gate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 17, 2017
    Date of Patent: January 19, 2021
    Assignee: IMFLUX INC.
    Inventors: William Francis Lawless, III, Chow-Chi Huang, Gene Michael Altonen, Brandon Michael Birchmeier
  • Patent number: 10814540
    Abstract: A hot runner injection molding apparatus, and method of use, is disclosed in which strain gauges are provided in the temperature zones of the hot runner injection molding apparatus and a hot runner controller creates a target strain profile, detects deviations from the target strain profile in any temperature zone based on the strain readings provided by the strain gauges in each temperature zone, and instructs correction of deviations from the target strain profile in any deviating temperature zone by adjusting the heat produced by a heater or heaters in the deviating temperature zone. The target strain profile may be based on a median or average of strain readings provided over time by the strain gauges in each temperature zone. A hollow installation tube for placing the strain gauges in the hot runner injection molding apparatus is also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 10, 2019
    Date of Patent: October 27, 2020
    Assignee: IMFLUX INC.
    Inventors: William Francis Lawless, III, Rick Alan Pollard, Gene Michael Altonen, Brian Matthew Burns
  • Patent number: 10737420
    Abstract: A nozzle assembly for an injection molding system has a nozzle adapter with one or more vent holes therein. A porous metal insert is provided in fluid communication with at least one of the vent holes. The porous metal insert is also in fluid communication with a flow channel through the nozzle assembly. As molten polymeric material advances through the flow channel from a barrel to a mold assembly, gases entrained in the molten polymeric material are vented through the porous metal insert and escape through the one or more vent holes. Pressurized air may be introduced through the vent holes, such as by one or more blow-back modules, to unclog pores of the one or more porous metal inserts between shots of the injection molding system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 28, 2019
    Date of Patent: August 11, 2020
    Assignee: IMFLUX INC.
    Inventors: Frank Gustaaf Debruin, Chow-Chi Huang, Michael Thomas Dodd
  • Patent number: 10583600
    Abstract: A remote controller can be provided on any apparatus that employs feedback control from a native controller to add functionality to the apparatus where the native controller is not capable of providing such functionality independently.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 14, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 10, 2020
    Assignee: IMFLUX INC.
    Inventors: Brian Matthew Burns, Gene Michael Altonen
  • Patent number: 10538023
    Abstract: A hot runner injection molding apparatus, and method of use, is disclosed in which strain gauges are provided in the temperature zones of the hot runner injection molding apparatus and a hot runner controller creates a target strain profile, detects deviations from the target strain profile in any temperature zone based on the strain readings provided by the strain gauges in each temperature zone, and instructs correction of deviations from the target strain profile in any deviating temperature zone by adjusting the heat produced by a heater or heaters in the deviating temperature zone. The target strain profile may be based on a median or average of strain readings provided over time by the strain gauges in each temperature zone. A hollow installation tube for placing the strain gauges in the hot runner injection molding apparatus is also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 2017
    Date of Patent: January 21, 2020
    Assignee: IMFLUX INC.
    Inventors: William Francis Lawless, III, Rick Alan Pollard, Gene Michael Altonen, Brian Matthew Burns
  • Patent number: 10525626
    Abstract: Methods of monitoring and controlling a molding process using a sensed change in strain provided by a strain gauge are provided. A target strain profile is created for a molding process of a molding apparatus. An upper and lower deviation limit from the target strain profile for the molding process is provided. If a sensed change in strain exceeds a deviation limit, an alarm is activated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 2017
    Date of Patent: January 7, 2020
    Assignee: IMFLUX INC.
    Inventors: William Francis Lawless, III, Rick Alan Pollard, Brian Matthew Burns, Gene Michael Altonen
  • Patent number: 10449707
    Abstract: A injection molding method involves measuring, using at least one strain gauge sensor, a change in strain in a mold side of a mold cavity, approximating a pressure within the mold cavity based on the change in strain, comparing the approximated pressure to a pre-set trigger point, and if the approximated pressure equals or exceeds the pre-set trigger point, activating a virtual cavity sensor having an optimal pre-defined pressure-time curve, wherein upon activation, the virtual cavity sensor tracks approximated pressures calculated from the change in strain measurements measured by the at least one strain gauge sensor over time and compares the results of the approximated pressure tracking to the optimal pre-defined pressure-time curve.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 22, 2016
    Date of Patent: October 22, 2019
    Assignee: IMFLUX, INC.
    Inventors: Rick Alan Pollard, Joshua Douglas Raker, Gene Michael Altonen, H. Kenneth Hanson, III
  • Patent number: 10444092
    Abstract: A strain gauge nozzle adapter that may be placed between a barrel end cap and a nozzle body of an injection molding system, the strain gauge nozzle adapter having a strain gauge pin that measures strain within the strain gauge nozzle adapter for use in approximating conditions within an injection molding system, such as pressure or the location of a melt flow front. The strain gauge nozzle adapter may include a plurality of strain gauge pins. An alternative material insert in the strain gauge nozzle adapter may surround a strain gauge pin to amplify meaningful measurements obtained by the strain gauge pin so that noise measurements do not compromise the accuracy of approximation of conditions within a mold.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 18, 2018
    Date of Patent: October 15, 2019
    Assignee: IMFLUX INC.
    Inventors: Rick Alan Pollard, Bryan Keith Allen, Chow-Chi Huang, Gene Michael Altonen
  • Patent number: 10427341
    Abstract: An injection molding machine uses a controller to effectively control its operation. The controller may determine and/or receive information regarding the machine's maximum load capacity, and may also determine a current operational load value of the machine. The controller may cause the machine to operate at any number of combinations of settings of operational parameters which result in the machine operating at or below the maximum load value by adjusting any number of machine parameters associated with the injection molding machine based on feedback sensors measuring real-time operating conditions of the machine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 2017
    Date of Patent: October 1, 2019
    Assignee: IMFLUX INC.
    Inventors: Gene Michael Altonen, Brian Matthew Burns, H. Kenneth Hanson, III
  • Patent number: D916877
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 2, 2019
    Date of Patent: April 20, 2021
    Assignee: IMFLUX INC.
    Inventors: Anthony R. DiCamillo, Brian M. Burns, James A. Wilson, Amista D. Phillips