By: The Stoner Molding Solutions Experts
Every molder relies on his tools to make a living. Injection molders can churn out hundreds of parts per minute; while composite molders may only make one luxury yacht hull a year, but both depend on their molds and machines to turn a profit. So how do you maximize your profit, reduce the amount of down-time, and keep your molds producing an income? The answer is proper part maintenance; however finding the optimal time to apply a quick spray of Mold Cleaner, re-apply a release agent, or stop the process completely is a struggle.
This is where the experience of the Stoner Molding Solutions Experts can offer some guidance. During many of their on-site visits with clients, the Stoner experts look to answer several key questions to help them figure out a proper tool maintenance schedule.
- How many parts do you make on any given mold?
- How many molding cycles do you currently perform until you have to remove and clean the mold completely?
- When do you start to notice buildup or a change in your finished part?
- What is the buildup you are observing?
The answers to these questions can be vary greatly depending on the industry and molding process, but the best go-to suggestion they can offer is to track the answers to those questions. Once you have the data, you can work backward to find a solution and maximize your profit.
The ultimate goal is to perform some light maintenance just before you would normally see the overall performance of your tool begin to deteriorate. That could be when you begin to see a haze develop on your mold surface, or when you begin to see part ejection beginning to slow. This light maintenance will allow your mold to maintain quality production for a longer period of time. Finding this mold-maintenance sweet spot may take a few tries, but once established it has the potential to save you thousands.
Finally, knowing what type of residues and buildups are common with your process will help determine the approach you need to take to eliminate it. For example, the Stoner Molding Experts recently encountered a composite molder who thought a white buildup on his mold was caused by excess wax, when in fact the white substance was from the chemical reaction of the resin and epoxy. Once the buildup was properly identified, it was discovered that a slight process change would result in a better outcome. Identifying the buildup immediately saved the molder from having to strip his entire mold repeatedly. Instead he was able to apply the proper mold cleaner, eliminate the buildup, and save hours of labor and down time.
If you have any questions, or would like to schedule time to discuss preventative mold maintenance, feel free to reach out to the molding experts directly at www.StonerMolding.com
Stoner Molding Solutions is a leading supplier of industrial mold release agents in the polyurethane, plastic, rubber and composites fields, based in Quarryville, Pa. For more information, call +1-717-786-7355 or visit www.stonermolding.com