- Mold Cleaning and function. Many processors fail to understand that one of the first things that require analysis prior to process change is making sure the mold has been cleaned and mold components are functioning properly. No process change should ever occur without a full cleaning of the mold and an inspection of mold components for damage and/or improper function. In some cases, inspect the parts just prior to and during ejection to identify problems. Inspect vents that are at or near areas of shorting and/or burns.
- Maintenance. Review press and auxiliaries for changing conditions and poor performance. Machine valves wear, dryers malfunction, carriages get out of alignment, screws wear and check rings crack or break. Learn to identify equipment failure using monitoring data, and get input from your maintenance team to analyze potential faults and determine the best approach to fix them. Remember, planned maintenance events are always much more cost effective than an unplanned repair. Develop a strong preventive maintenance approach to reduce scrap, down time and troubleshooting events.
These are some of the biggest failures that occur while trying to implement a systematic approach to scientific molding. The foundation of scientific molding theory is standardization and monitoring of your operation. These remove chaos from each molding system by simplifying procedures and establishing a concrete molding approach. Lean molding requires consistent replication and thorough documentation of successful runs to ensure each production event is successful. Standardization, monitoring and maintaining process consistency are the keys to a strong molding foundation and solid profits.
Garrett MacKenzie is the owner/editor of plastic411.com, as well as a consultant/trainer to the plastic injection industry. He has provided his process engineering expertise to many top companies, including Glock, Honda, Johnson Controls and Rubbermaid, and currently works for a company that provides automotive products to Yenfeng, Faurecia and other top automotive suppliers. He can be contacted at [email protected].