Custom Engineered Wheels: Precision Maintenance for Optimal Production Approach to Injection Molding

In the pursuit of a successful plastic injection production system, effective machine maintenance stands as a cornerstone. Unplanned maintenance-induced downtime can lead to substantial scheduling, production, and logistical challenges, amplifying the cost of part production and impacting profit margins. As detailed in the article “The Troubleshooter: How to Prevent Common Failure Modes in Injection Molding” by Plastics Today, insights are provided into common failure modes and essential requirements for establishing an effective preventive maintenance system.

The article underscores the critical importance of inspecting screws and barrels every six months to control a validated process, especially when dealing with materials prone to premature wear, such as fiberglass/metal-based materials. Key process monitoring variables, including inconsistent cushion, fill time variability, and part weight fluctuations, help identify changes in screw performance, indicating potential wear.

Maintaining clamp performance is equally vital for consistent processes. Monthly inspections of clamp components and checks on clamp parallelism every six months ensure optimal performance. Signs of poor clamp performance include the inability to reach or maintain clamp force/tonnage setpoints, hold pressure during a tonnage event, or maintain consistent mold open times.

Temperature performance, a critical aspect of molding processes, is addressed through meticulous inspection of barrel temperature, mold temperature, and hot runner components. The article provides key inspection factors and process monitoring data for troubleshooting purposes, emphasizing the significance of maintaining consistent temperatures to avoid production issues.

Proactive planning of maintenance events using maintenance log data to identify specific breakdown patterns is advocated. This structured approach to preventive maintenance aims to eliminate unplanned maintenance work, preventing chaos in planning, expedited parts, and increased downtime.

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