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How to Choose a Temperature Controller for Hot Runner Controller Systems

The Importance of Choosing the Right Temperature Controller


If you want to produce stable and high-quality components in injection molding, high-quality hot runner controller systems are the essential key factors. One of the most important performances for hot runner controller systems is temperature uniformity. In well-performing hot runner controller systems, the temperature should remain consistent at all times without changes over time. However, no matter how carefully designed hot runner controller systems are, they cannot function properly without a temperature controller.


Properly controlling the temperature of the hot runner controller systems is a dynamic task because during the injection molding process, different amounts of shear heat are generated throughout the entire hot runner system. How the temperature controller responds to these sudden and uneven heat increments directly determines whether the various parts of the hot runner controller systems can return to their original temperatures before the next injection.


Factors to Consider When Choosing the Right Temperature Controller


Algorithm


Most temperature controllers use a PID algorithm to adjust the output power to maintain the set temperature. Some controllers use a more advanced PIDD control, which allows the temperature controller to more quickly return the hot runner system to the set point after the temperature in the hot runner controller systems is disturbed.


Response Time


The response time of a temperature controller is determined by the time it takes to compare the temperature reading with the set temperature and make power adjustments based on that comparison. The shorter the response time, the less the hot runner controller systems are affected by temperature disturbances.


Adjustment


Some temperature controllers come pre-set with constants that can be manually changed if any area within the hot runner controller systems is not properly controlled. Other controllers adjust themselves during the first power-up. Some controllers continuously adjust themselves even after the hot runner has reached the set point and is experiencing temperature changes due to the molding process, thereby better controlling the hot runner controller systems.


Output Voltage Control Type


Many temperature controllers use an on/off type of voltage control, which operates by changing the percentage of time full voltage is applied. This control method can cause temperature fluctuations and shorten the heater's lifespan. Other temperature controllers use phase angle firing, which continuously sends power and adjusts the output voltage to the required value.


Thermocouple Resolution


The last factor to consider is the resolution of the thermocouple, which determines the increment of the temperature readings. Given the critical role of the temperature controller in the operation of the hot runner controller systems, it is essential to do thorough preparation work before selecting a temperature controller.

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