MoldMaking Technology

DEC 2018

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Page 34 of 50 33 when something is amiss or when a technician is attempt- ing to solve an issue with the mold, part, press or people. For example, the data indicates when a preventive mainte- nance (PM) run is due or overdue, how many cycles are run during a specific timeframe, if a mold cycle time is in or out of an accepted range, when the mold starts or stops, how long a machine is idle or down and when process conditions exceed a set range. Once this data is implemented and tested, and techni- cians have determined a verified range, they can maintain a more consistent process, which helps them troubleshoot mold function and part quality issues and more accurately forecast tooling life. Without process consistency, it can be difficult—if not impossible—for technicians to deter- mine a root cause, leaving them with few options, like simply cleaning the mold or sticking in new tooling and hoping the issue magically disappears. Sometimes the issue does disappear, which provides a continued endorsement of a costly, firefighting maintenance strategy. In reality, the issue disap- peared because something in the pro- cess changed, not the inclusion of new tooling. For example, injection pressure spiked during the run and caused flash, someone increased clamp pressure and eliminated flash, a technician turned up the nozzle heaters too high, the mold sat idle for too long, or the mold overran its specified PM cycle count. Electronic data will provide insight into these situations, helping techni- cians to determine the proper corrective action. However, electronic data is not enough on its own. More Than Data It takes human interaction to fill in the blanks that these live data signals create. Before a toolroom tackles an issue, the technicians need to know exactly which issue that they should examine. It takes skilled technicians to prioritize the issues that they must investigate. Some larger compa- nies have thousands of documented mold and part issues in their databases. Imagine trying to chase all the "out-of- range" issues that live electronic signals provide. For example, what if during only one run, a host system was flagged indicat- ing that a mold experienced a clamp or an injection pressure increase along with a cycle time and mold tempera- ture change? What if the result of these changes were negligible and the mold still produced good parts during the run? What if the mold had a couple of cavi- ties blocked for non-fill, flash or a burn during a run? The answer is unclear. The technician either sets up a DOE (Design of Experiment) to chase these process- related issues or hopes that they go away during the next production run. Perhaps the data is so confusing that the best answer is to stick in new tooling, give it a good cleaning and hope for the best. *6870 1TD-6816 *5895 *6136 6639 *6357-C 5413-S *6278-C 6147-S 5996 Top 10 Molds By Tooling Cost Top 10 Mold Stop Reasons C/R & Rack—Run Complete X-Flash Issues Cycle Limit X-Cavitation C/R & Rack X-Mold Damage X-Internal Water Leak C/R & Run X-Gate Issues X-Galled Tooling

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