Technology & solutions
Injection molding makes possible compact and quiet water pump
2018.01.02   |   조회 : 297
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Injection molding makes possible compact and quiet water pump

Grundfos, a leading heavy-duty industrialpumps producer based in Denmark, decided to venture into the consumer market.Injection molded parts proved to be the answer for efficient and high volumeproduction of its SCALA2  water boosterpump.

Grundfos’s heavy-duty industrial pumps are made almost entirely out of cast and machined metal. For the production of consumer product, a more efficient process is needed. Plastics injection molding comes in the equation, but it would mean a total rework of its pump design.

Moving away from metal die casting for series production

The company, in partnership with Belgium-based Quadrant Creative Moulding & Systems (CMS), successfully completed this metal-to-plastics transition project.

Its new SCALA2 water booster pump is designed for households where mains water pressure is low and/or variable. Most of the critical internal parts in this new development needed to be made in plastics instead of metal (mostly cast aluminum), because the pump must work quietly so that it could be located close to – and even inside – the house.

Injection molding would also enable Grundfos to create more complex parts than is possible with metal casting, and so allow it to design a pump that was more compact than any it has produced to date.

All parts designated for co-development needed to be engineered for molding in high volume series, using thermoplastics capable of withstanding high pressures and which were also approved by national authorities such as WRAS, NSF and ACS for contact with drinking water.

Quadrant and Grundfos together developed various parts, including components for the water inlet and outlet and for the non-return valve system, as well as for the housing for the turbine that is at the heart of the booster compartment.

For the most critical parts, prototype injection molds were produced, while for others, functional prototype parts were created using laser sintering, a form of 3D printing that creates parts with characteristics close to those of injection molded parts.

Balancing product and production process demand

Production molds were designed by Quadrant and built to its specifications, either in-house or at approved mold makers. All fine-tuning was carried out within Quadrant. Production of the first final parts, all of them in a polyphenylene ether/polystyrene (PPE/PS) blend, began in early 2016.

“With the engineering teams from the two companies working very closely together on the development of the SCALA2 pump, we have been able to achieve a perfect result,” said Grundfos Department Head Mikkel Essenbæk. “We have been able to balance product and production process demands to an extremely satisfying level.”

The SCALA2 has been launched on numerous markets around the world, credited for its compact dimensions, low noise (more or less the same as a domestic dishwasher), ease of installation, simple controls, and high reliability.

Content: Quadrant CMS

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