FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – A cosmetic top cap for Trane’s top-of-the-line residential air conditioner won the Building & Construction category at the Society of the Plastics Industry’s annual plastics design competition held this spring. Newly named the Alliance of Plastics Processors Conference & New Product Design Competition, the event attracted 31 complex entries representing multiple processes and materials.
Trane’s AC cover was no exception. Molded at Mack Molding’s facility in Inman, S.C., the new top cap design is injection molded, which produces fast molding cycles for a high volume part with cosmetic requirements. External gas is used for cavity texture replication and improved part ejection. External gas also lowers the injection pressure needed to fill the part, reducing press size requirements as well as costs.
The cover is molded of UV stabilized polycarbonate resin for strength, impact, long-term aging, cosmetics, and the color stability required for an outdoor application.
The new cover design – a collaborative effort among Trane, Mack Molding, Advanced Innovative Design and Delta Mold – is now one part produced in one mold with no required assembly. Formerly, the cover was built of five separate parts that had to be glued, and three molds were needed to produce each part. “You can imagine the productivity gains we’ve realized through mold reduction alone,” says Ken Kincaid, Mack technical engineering manager.
The most impressive technical aspect of the project is reflected in the part’s geometry changes and how they work with the tool design. “Slide lines in the tool combine with style lines on the side of the part, eliminating any interruption in texture appearance,” explains Kincaid. “And because the louvers are now integral to the part, its structural aspects and strength properties are improved, eliminating most of the core side ribs that were previously needed and the associated sink and flow disruptions.”
“This project is an excellent example of part and tool design working in concert to simplify design and consolidate parts, while meeting all critical aesthetic and functional criteria,” says Mack Business Development Director Brian Sumpter.
About Mack Molding
Mack Molding is a leading custom plastics molder and supplier of contract manufacturing services. Mack specializes in plastics design, prototyping, molding, sheet metal fabrication, and medical device manufacturing. The company operates seven facilities throughout the eastern United States. Founded in 1920, Mack is a privately owned business with over 1800 employees in North America. For further information, call 802-375-2511 or visit Mack on the web at www.mack.com.
Trane, the air conditioning systems and services business of American Standard Companies, is a leading global provider of indoor comfort systems and comprehensive facility solutions. Its offerings include energy efficient heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems, service and parts support, advanced building controls and financing solutions. In 2006, Trane contributed $6.8 billion to American Standard’s total sales of $11.2 billion. For more information, visit the Trane web site at www.trane.com.