The production of the chocolate mould set shall take place using up-to-date injection moulding machines and high pressure presses after the customer has approved of the sample mould.

The injection moulding machines are equipped with robots, scales and laser marking.

Manual processing and checking conclude the partially automatic production process.

Fertigung Formensatz   Technologie - Fertigung   Fertigung: Prüfung

 

At Brunner, we work with two different production processes.

 

Injection moulding and thermoforming - two production processes that can complement each other

 

2. Thermoforming process

In the thermoforming process, plastic sheets are heated until they become soft (plasticised) and are then immediately formed under the action of highly compressed air. Reproduction in the mould cavities is therefore extremely precise. Surfaces, engravings and fine decor boundaries can be created with an accuracy and resolution, which satisfies each and every requirement.

Polycarbonate sheets with thicknesses of 1 - 3 mm are used to produce a standard version and a range of impact-resistant variants of various thicknesses.

 

On-going development of production methods means that so-called “frame moulds" can now be created. Like the majority of injection mouldings, these have a 90° angled edge running around them. However, since it is not possible to produce a rib on the reverse side, the moulds remain flexible.

Brunner, for example, manufactures individual patterns to a thickness of 2.5 mm using the thermoforming process.

 

 

 

The same process is then used to manufacture:

  • self-supporting spinning moulds (SE moulds)
  • one-shot moulds (relief and double moulds)
  • inlay moulds for frame-based automatic spinning machines (e.g. Hydo- or Jensen-type) or for frame systems (Brauner frames by Brunner, BLUEFLEX® frame system)

 

The entire thermoforming section has been completely modernised and is now semi-automated. The moulds are currently being manufactured on four thermoforming units.

 

The thermoforming process is backed by a 5-axis plastic CNC milling machine, which can be set to carry out all necessary milling operations in semi-automatic mode.

 

 

 

2. Injection-moulding process 

 In the injection moulding process, plastic granules are melted, prior to being fed via a heated worm drive and nozzle into a completely enclosed tool. The plastic is then re-pressed and cooled. When feeding large moulds, heated channels are provided to allow the liquid plastic to flow equally to the multiple injection points. This means that the plastic arrives at all the injection points with the same properties (temperature, pressure, flow rate). This ensures that the shortest flowpaths and lowest injection pressures can be used.
Moulds of up to 1400 mm in length can be manufactured by this process and provided with individual ribs conferring very high levels of rigidity.
Injection moulds are used in the pastry industry and also have applications in large praline and tablet plants.

At present, Brunner has 6 injection-moulding units manufacturing these moulds. The units are semi-automatic, robot-based and, if necessary, can be upgraded with marking lasers.

 

 

3. Combined systems

Moulds consisting of a combination of Thermpress ® and injection-moulding components.


The components used for these moulds are produced in the most cost-effective and technically-advantageous ways.

The frames in the BLUEFLEX® family are manufactured from strengthened polycarbonate using the injection-moulding process.
The advantage of injection moulding is the reproducibility of frame strength and complex geometry under largely automated conditions. This means lower manufacturing costs on large batch production runs.

Inlay moulds are manufactured using the thermoforming process.
The advantages of this process are its low tooling costs, the thin and relatively consistent wall thicknesses and the flexibility of the inlay moulds

 

The classic BLUEFLEX® system *1 inlay moulds have a wall thickness of 1.5 mm. Each mould is provided with multiple moulding posts, which correspond to the gaps in the frame. The magnets are integrated into the frames. No magnets are therefore needed in the inlay moulds themselves, making them more reliable and much cheaper.
This system is specially designed for the frequent product changes on large batch hollow and relief figure production runs.

 

 


BLUEFLEX® Carrier *2 carrier frame and mould supports are manufactured using the injection-moulding process. The inlay moulds are manufactured using the individual pattern development tool and can be screwed into the mould supports manually.

This system is best suited to extremely small (individual) batch sizes and in the laboratory for the manufacture of test patterns or small first series.

 

 

4. Summary 

Where procedures are not already dictated by the available production plant (mould stiffness, quantity), checks can be made as to whether injection-moulding or thermoforming is the process best suited to the manufacture of the chocolate mould base body.

High-quality polycarbonate can be processed in either of the above cases and can also be used in impact-resistant moulds. Alternative materials, such as BPA-free Tritan® can also be used in both processes.

Thermoforming processes are cheaper to tool and produce flexible moulds. These processes are extremely well-suited to applications, in which the de-moulding process is largely carried out manually (spinning moulds, one-shot moulds).

The tools used in injection moulding tend to be more expensive (due to the need for impermeability and strength at high pressure). However, batch sizes are by and large greater than those, which can be processed by thermoforming and the individual cost of a mould is therefore generally less.

The need for rigidity and automation often makes injection moulding the only suitable choice. 

Systems with components manufactured from a combination of the two processes can prove interesting. Individual consultation is essential, since there are many interdependent factors.

 

Brunner is certainly one of the few manufacturers of chocolate moulds actually offering the option of combining the two processes.

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*1 More details about the BLUEFLEX® system  *2 More details about the BLUEFLEX® Carrier

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