During production of parts made of polyurethane or other reactive plastics (such as seat cushions, steering wheels, instrument panels, and so on) contoured tools are filled with the reactive liquid mixture, which then hardens into the foam components through chemical reactions.
These tools must be able to move to multiple different positions in order to make each step of the process feasible for part production; in the simplest case they must be able to open and close to allow the chemical reaction of the liquid mixture to occur, as well as to remove the formed components. Opening the molds (tools) should occur so that the mold sits in the most ergonomic position for manual processes (removing the formed component, cleaning the mold, etc.). Closed molds may need to be able to pivot to precise angles in order to ensure optimal part quality. Similarly, it is also very important that closed molds apply precise forces/pressure to minimize the risk of an opening during the reaction.
There are two possible and practical concepts to move the molds to the various positions required by the process and to ensure these movements occur as desired:
Every mold is equipped with the necessary movement mechanism and relevant gears (pneumatic, hydraulic, electric), which is often necessary for mass and mono production, or
Every mold is built into a self-sufficient, drive-equipped movement mechanism, which is often referred to as a tool carrier or a mold carrier in the polyurethane industry.
In order to meet a wide range of production requirements, FRIMO mold carriers are available in a variety of sizes and kinematics for various mold sizes, weights, clamping forces, and movements.
Mold carriers are especially useful,
if various molds of a similar nature need to be produced (such as instrument panels with RHD and LHD) and can be switched out in the mold carrier.
if similar components for succeeding models are to be produced in the same mold carrier for economic reasons, etc.