I work for a company that sells Moldflow and provides Moldflow services nationwide, but we have been seeing that Moldflow is making a move towards the front end of the design cycle and more design engineers are getting involved using simulation up front. It can help them in a number of ways, and it is much more cost effective to do your simulations early on. With tool makers doing less of it, and simply moving to creating molds per the specs of the designers, many make additional money off reworks – which everyone is looking to do in this economy. Thus, companies are taking back control of their designs…it is an interesting shift from the way Moldflow was used in the past vs. how its usage is evolving.
While some worry about the “cost” of Moldflow, the reality is, if you can quickly do some filling analysis, or gate location analysis, sink mark analysis, or even move into runner balancing, cooling, packing, warpage, etc…if you can eliminate one bad mold, or a couple of reworks per year, I’m sure you can figure out that these software have tremendous value. We actually use our services to demonstrate how it can save them money, and ultimately help them purchase the software.
With due regard to all software developers, it is quintessential that the material grade, type being used/to be used for a product are in the database/reference tools of that software. Currently, so many grades & variants have been developed by different companies, that accurate results of software becomes difficult. “Warpage” is always associated with highly crystalline polymers like Nylons, however processing condition optimization (melt & mold temperature) helps in reducing differential shrinkage or warpage.