Custom injection molder Viking Plastics announced the design and molding of a battery-cooling water-cross part for the hybrid Jeep Wrangler 4xe.
The hybrid battery assembly consists of a series of batteries located within a large aluminum molded case. Coolant is cycled through channels in the aluminum to cool the batteries. The plastic coolant duct assemblies produced by Viking Plastics are used to link the coolant channels across different areas of the case, which must properly align with the case to provide a leak-proof seal on flanges around the coolant openings.
Because the duct assemblies are plastic and mounted with bolts to the aluminum case, Viking Plastics insert molds over stainless-steel compression limiters during the molding process.
A conventional molding machine integrated with robot and assembly cell is used to perform all the process steps.
Coolant ducts are a multi-piece assembly consisting of an injection molded top and bottom. Stainless-steel compression limiters are insert molded in the bottom part. These molded components process through a welder, receive push-in-place seals, and undergo leak testing.
Viking Plastics said that it developed family molds for each product style. A robot was integrated to the molding machine and custom end-of-arm tooling (EOAT) was established for each product style. The EOAT interfaces with a custom system that feeds and aligns inserts for the robot to pick and place in the mold.
Post molding, parts are conveyed to a Branson vibration welder, where the top and bottom are joined together. After welding, the parts are processed through a cleaning station and then push-in-place seals are installed to the port openings of the assembly.
The final step in the process uses a leak testing and pokayoke system. Parts are placed in part-specific nests and progress through the testing phases in the equipment before packing and delivery.
Founded in 1972, Viking Plastics is a privately held company specialized in sealing systems, custom injection molding, assembly, and post-molding secondary services. The company is equipped with more than 60 global molding machines spanning the range from 50 to 720 tons. Capabilities include two-shot and insert molding, and automated assembly cells. Viking Plastics is certified ton IATF 16949:2016, ISO 14002:2015 and ISO 9001:2015.