Single-Dose Purge Compound Yields Big Savings for Molder
Blackhawk Molding switched to premeasured packets of a new purge compound for 63% overall cost savings.
Blackhawk Molding was so pleased with results from using a relatively new purge compound that it adopted the product for all its injection molding machines, the bulk of which are 300-tonners.
Blackhawk is a leading molder of caps and closures for the dairy and water bottles.
Based in Sparks, Nev., Blackhawk is a leading molder of caps and closures, supplying the dairy and bottled water industry with HDPE or LDPE caps ranging from 33 mm to 55 mm. According to project coordinator Jason Ferguson, Blackhawk needs to perform frequent color changes, so purging and cleaning screws in its presses is critical to quality control.
Ferguson recalls that Bruce Lundstrom, Blackhawk’s plant manager, asked to sample QuickShots single-dose purge compounds from iD Additives, which was launched commercially in 2017. “Initially, the potential of improved ease of handling for our operators was primarily what we anticipated. It didn’t take long to see the benefits of using this product. It helped make color changes much easier and dramatically reduced our downtime when cleaning the screws. We loved the results, so we went ahead with a large order.”
First shift foreman/supervisor Monica Perez dropping a QuickShots 3-oz packet into the barrel of an injection machine to clean the screw.
The significant savings realized at Blackhawk include a 50% to 60% reduction in scrap, a 55% reduction in downtime, and a total of 63% cost savings. Ferguson confirms that the proprietary, FDA-compliant chemical purging compound is now being used on all of its molding machines and molds.
Previously, for shutdowns and cleaning the screws, Blackhawk used a combination of a liquid chemical purge, which required premixing with virgin material, and a mechanical purge from two different suppliers. “We reduced the cleanup time from 2½ hr to 40-45 min. We were not expecting to see the cost savings achieved, either.”
The company is using the original QuickShots liquid-in-pouch for color changes. More recently, for monthly preventive maintenance, Blackhawk has evaluated both iD Additives’ MP (mechanical purge) compound and QuickShots HD (heavy-duty) with glass prills mixed in for extra cleaning strength. “While I think the MP is more powerful, the QuickShots HD purging action is sufficient for our needs,” Ferguson states. He calls himself a “huge fan” of iD Additives customer service in terms of the time spent assisting the company in optimizing the use of its purge compounds.
QuickShots are single-dose purge compounds that come in individual packets, which allow operators to purge their machinery by simply dropping the packets into the feedthroat/hopper of their machine. They work with all resin types on all plastics machinery processes, including injection molding, extrusion and blow molding. Typical dosage is 1 oz per inch of screw diameter, so a 6-in. diam. screw would require two 3-oz QuickShots packets.
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