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A new handheld, direct-contact, industrial-strength thermometer helped a West Coast molder quickly cure an ailing mold.I’m pretty amazed,” says Jim Snow, VP of engineering at Westec Plastics Corp., a full-service molding and moldmaking operation in Livermore, CA. “I used the Estik to diagnose a problem we had with a mold built on the outside. We were trying to run it, but we kept getting warpage, and there were areas of the parts that weren’t properly filling.”

IMM Staff

March 18, 2009

3 Min Read
Uptime in the palm of your hand

A new handheld, direct-contact, industrial-strength thermometer helped a West Coast molder quickly cure an ailing mold.

I’m pretty amazed,” says Jim Snow, VP of engineering at Westec Plastics Corp., a full-service molding and moldmaking operation in Livermore, CA. “I used the Estik to diagnose a problem we had with a mold built on the outside. We were trying to run it, but we kept getting warpage, and there were areas of the parts that weren’t properly filling.”

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Molder/moldmaker Westec needed a quick diagnostic device for tools it runs on its 12-plus molding machines.

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The Estik handheld thermometer can measure different points on the mold to identify problem spots.



With production capacity that includes more than a dozen machines from 40-400 tons, including four all-electrics, and a well-stocked toolroom with three EDMs and two CNC mills, Westec specializes in running parts in high-performance engineering thermoplastics, including LCP, PEEK, and PPS.

“I measured different temperatures on the tool with the Estik and quickly spotted a plugged waterline. Using it was much easier than using a conventional pyrometer, where you have to lug it, pull out the cable, hold it in one hand and the pyrometer in the other, and make a relative assessment of the problem. I just checked the core temp in a couple of locations with the Estik and found a hot spot. There was a restriction in the waterline that caused uneven cooling on the core. Using the Estik, I was able to quickly pinpoint the problem and have it solved with a lot less hassle.”

OK, great . . . but what’s an “Estik”?

A hot product

Estik is the trademarked name for a new direct-contact, handheld industrial thermometer that costs about $150—including its heavy-duty lanyard and nylon holster—from Tempil, an Illinois Toolworks Co. (South Plainfield, NJ). Unlike a pyrometer, a noncontact device that intercepts and measures thermal radiation, the Estik delivers a digital readout of the actual surface temperature at the point of contact. And you don’t have to know what the emissivity of the surface material is to get an accurate reading, unlike using an infrared measuring device.

You just press the I/O button on the side of the barrel, touch the Estik’s point to the work surface you’re measuring, and the temperature’s displayed in °F or °C on a three-digit backlit digital display on the unit’s top. If you need to make a number of measurements, you just have to press the unit’s reset button, move it to another area, and repeat the process. It’s engineered to provide temperature reading accuracies to within ±2% at a ±5-second response time, and it runs on a 9V battery.

In business since 1938, Tempil has a long history when it comes to developing industrial-strength temperature measuring devices, such as infrared thermometers. Sources there say the new Estik evolved from products like its Tempilstik, a somewhat similar, but heavier-duty thermometer primarily used in the welding industry.

They engineered the Estik to be quick and easy to use for multitasking folks on the floor, eliminating cumbersome wiring and making it about as user-friendly as a flashlight. And, if you’re working in an ISO-certified shop, Tempil sources note that the Estik provides an easy means of supplying a paper trail when a calibration certificate traceable to an NIST source is required. —[email protected]

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