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July 1, 2001

2 Min Read
Daily tool maintenace basics

0701i60a.jpg Why speed a tool to an early retirement, especially a tool that might have cost more than the press it runs in, simply by being careless about daily maintenance? That's exactly what Thomas T. Brylinski wants to know. 

Brylinski, senior design engineer at materials supplier Durez, reminded everyone of the basics of tool maintenance at an SPE topical conference on thermosets held in Research Triangle Park, NC this past March. 

A mold's useful life can be extended by keeping maintenance in mind at every stage of its existence, from design through storage. However, one stage warrants special attention. Brylinski says, "Let's face it, most damage occurs in the press." 

The potential for problems begins with startup, he says. Forgetting about maintenance during initial installation can cut a tool's life practically in half. For example, wires and hoses should be tied back, out of the way of operators, but with enough slack to prevent them from being stressed by platen movement. Once the mold is in the tool, Brylinski has the following recommendations: 

Shift-start procedures: 

• 1 Clean cores, cavities, parting line surfaces, and mold plates. Use only brass cleaning tools. 

• 2 Grease leader pins, bushings, and ejector guides with a high-temperature grease. Slides and slide pockets also should be cleaned and greased. 

• 3 Wax the ejector pins with beeswax to prevent sticking or squeaking. If the mold squeaks at all during production, shut it down and fix it immediately. 

Run-finish procedures: 

• 1 Blow out the waterlines (or steam lines in some thermoset tooling) and tie the lines to the top of the mold to prevent transit or storage damage. 

• 2 Keep the mold's last shot (and runner) for the toolroom and the quality department. 

• 3 Fill out any necessary repair forms, and mark up parts from the mold for the toolroom. If this form is missing, don't expect the mold to run any better the next time. 

Editor's note: A transcript of Thomas T. Brylinski's seminar and complete conference proceedings from the SPE conference can be obtained from SPE (Brookfield, CT; www.4spe.org). 

Contact information
Durez Corp.
North Tonawanda, NY
Thomas T. Brylinski
Phone: (716) 773-8354

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