Purge guards improve safety, enable recycling at injection molding plant

Lava-Shield, a division of Shuman Plastics Inc. (Buffalo, NY), has developed reusable and recyclable purge guards that can be used with a variety of plastics processing equipment including injection molding, extrusion, compounding and blowmolding systems. Designed with a combination of specialty papers, Lava-Shield absorbs and then dissipates heat quickly. When the purge cools, the special non-stick surface releases the purge, free from contamination. The purges can then be recycled or sold.

Lava- Shield is customizable and can be folded, cut and shaped to fit specific purging requirements. Made in the United States with up to 30% recycled content, the protective purge guard is reusable up to five times and can be recycled along with other plant waste paper. The company submitted a case study to illustrate the benefits of the product, which is reprinted below.

Cord-Sets Inc. (Minneapolis, MN), a manufacturer of power supply cords, jumpers, wire harnesses and injection molded plugs, connectors and strain reliefs, was seeking ways to improve operational safety when purging the company's 11 injection molding machines, which range from 70 to 150 tons. Gene Anderson, Quality Control and Maintenance Supervisor, was also looking to lower scrap rates and improve recycling at Cord-Sets.

"During my research, I identified Lava-Shield Protective Purge Guards and tested a sample," said Anderson. "I was impressed with the ease of use and the product's simple, customizable construction."

Previously, operators and machine lines at Cord-Sets were exposed to molten flexible PVC and the purges were wasted. This had an impact on operational safety and recycling efforts at the facility. With Lava-Shield, operator safety is enhanced, because exposure to purging is reduced, and equipment maintenance is improved by eliminating molten plastic on cooling lines. Lava-Shield has also helped Cord Sets increase recycling of its PVC purges, which are now reusable or sellable.

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