Mold Maintenance & Repair

OCT 2013

Mold Maintenance & Repair

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Photos courtesy of MGS Mfg Group. F e at U R e The portability of dry-ice blasting systems makes them ideal for in-press preventive-maintenance cleaning. Even in the tight spaces often experienced on the molding production floor, MGS PM toolmaker Mark Hennecke is able to position himself and the equipment to service the production mold safely and effectively. of them has regularly scheduled visits to their steel doctor—an Mgs PM toolmaker (who, you will soon discover, makes house calls as well). The two scenarios i will explain use an existing production mold as an example. Two Cleaning Scenarios let's consider the two types of mold cleaning situations or environments—in-press and on the bench. in-press refers to the cleaning activities taking place while the mold is still fully assembled and mounted in the injection molding machine. in-press PM is sometimes referred to as Parting line PM (although Parting line PM is also done on the bench—it's all about access). This is the type of cleaning that happens most frequently and is based on a predetermined number of cycles or production hours. in many cases, the maximum cycle count before the frst scheduled in-press cleaning event will be set by an experienced PM toolmaker who will base the initial run count on the resin being used, 10 Mold Maintenance & Repair the nature of the core and/or cavity surfaces, and the general mold construction techniques employed. Molding activities will be halted, but the mold will remain in the press. The mold may need to be allowed to cool down prior to handling, depending on the nature of the cleaning technique to be used. The frst step is a visual inspection. The PM toolmaker examines the mold, looking for any undue wear, gassing, or accumulation of residue. These observations and the resulting actions are noted and logged as part of the injection mold's electronic PM journal. After a complete visual inspection, the toolmaker wipes down the exposed mold surfaces with a cloth of appropriate material (cotton on highly polished surfaces) using a standard industry degreaser. This general surface cleaning and inspection is followed by an examination and greasing of parting-line locks, pins, and bushings. Air blasting is used as needed. even though we call it a P/l PM, we go beyond the parting line. it is part of our bestpractices approach that has the PM toolmaker remove the slides (and any easily accessed moving components) and thoroughly degrease, clean, inspect, and regrease as required.

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