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When tooling issues are shutting down presses daily and you can’t muster the mold maintenance and operating records to figure out why, then like the song says, “Who ya gonna call?” The answer to that question proved crucial to Cosmetic Specialties International (CSI), LLC in Oxnard, Calif.
Our last column covered shop size and bench requirements for a 50 x 50 ft mold-repair shop that will have a MPP (Mold Pull Pace) of approximately 25 to 30 multi-cavity molds a week and employ four repair technicians in a six-bench layout.
Many repair shops in molding facilities are too small, poorly lit, and inefficiently designed.
I had a toolmaker once tell me he used to slam his hand in his car door before work every morning just to get him in the right frame of mind to work in his shop.
A mold repair technician’s job has always been to make molds run—anyhow, any way.
Last month, we discussed the general issues of an organized and disciplined process of troubleshooting and correcting mold defects.
Like the three other aspects of a typical mold clean/repair job (disassembly, cleaning, and assembly) there is usually more than one way to skin the cat of troubleshooting and correcting defects.
WEB EXCLUSIVE: New versions of two software programs for managing mold maintenance were introduced at the recent NPE show in Chicago by Progressive Components, Wauconda, Ill.
While the mold was still being disassembled, two “cleaners” began pulling tooling out of plates and putting them into buckets in preparation for a good scrubbing—and I mean a scrubbing.
At my first production meeting with my new employer, I was told, “We want you to establish a preventive maintenance program that is based on maximum cycle counts for all our molds.” Then, before I could launch into an explanation of how best to determine maximum cycle counts, I was hit with the follow-up: “So, how many cycles do you think our molds can safely run before we need to clean them?”Leaving my crystal ball at home and unable to get my x-ray vision working, there was no way to answer this question with any real accuracy.
Here’s how a typical West Coast molding facility with 20 injection presses investigated the downtime impact of water leaks in the plant.
September’s “Mold Shop” column presented an overview of a mold maintenance supervisor’s need-to-know priorities.
Those in charge of keeping molds reliable and production-ready normally start their day in the same manner—wondering what broke down since they last walked out the door—and hoping they have the resources to get it going again.
When I was in the Navy, many different trades such as hydraulics, electrical, airframes, armament, and jet-engine mechanics worked side by side to get planes into the air, through their scheduled missions, returned to base, and turned around to do it all over again.
There are so many new technological options in mold design, moldmaking, and molding today that it boggles the mind: We can simulate melt flows to anticipate difficulties.
If custom molders were judged on curb appeal alone, this one would always be flush with work. Appointed in colonial brick encasing large smoked-glass windows and surrounded by balmy landscape and a lawn that looked good enough to eat, this stately plastics plant just screamed money. Surely they must be doing something right. But once past the glitz, the show was over.
Last month, we discussed how to collect accurate mold performance data at the press through the use of an IML (injection mold layout) sheet.
Regardless of mold type, the goal of the maintenance shop always is the same: Get a mold production-ready after it has been removed from service.
Is there a “perfect” cleaning system for molds and tooling that would allow a significant reduction in labor hours and tooling damage while providing consistent cleaning results?
Today, the most popular method of cleaning plastic injection molds still remains rooted in the antiquated process of scrubbing tooling and plates by hand, one piece at a time.
Last month we discussed how mold performance and mold-maintenance efficiency are different things, but they work hand in hand to affect the profitability of a molding company.
Mold performance and mold-maintenance efficiency are two very different but closely connected goals of today’s mold-repair shop.
We left off last month with all 16 nozzles removed from the manifold (with the tips protected by tape) and still wired to the electric box.
Already a familiar sight on European store shelves, the eye-catching appeal of "IML" is gaining traction among North American injection molders. The latest tooling and automation designs can handle the higher volumes needed here.
As I rounded the corner of our shop, I was confronted by a large flock of white shirts gathered around a mold on my bench.
Part I of III
Welcome to a new column dedicated to improving efficiency in your tool room and the health and performance of your molds.