Mold Maintenance & Repair

OCT 2015

Mold Maintenance & Repair

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F E AT U R E 12 Mold Maintenance & Repair by Matthew Danford Making Wear Predictable With thorough documentation and an investigative mindset, preventive maintenance becomes an uptime-boosting feedback loop of continuous improvement. Just a few feet from the nearest residences in the Chicago neighborhood of Edison Park, four young apprentices are learning to read the steel. "We're going to need them to see the same things we see—to read the witness marks, to spot problems with a mold before they happen," says Chuck Klingler, vice president of Janler Corp., who has spent much of the past 40+ years reading steel at the company his fa- ther founded in 1952. Passing that legacy on to the next generation has become a top priority for this precision injection mold manufacturer, which thrives on helping customers improve uptime and reduce costs through mold mainte- nance that's truly preventive. Klingler is quick to emphasize that the 35- employee company has no magic bullet for Hands-on experience in maintenance is critical for the next generation of toolmakers (background) to pick up on things that have become second-nature for senior toolmakers (foreground). teaching techniques that are diffcult to learn from a book or in a classroom. However, main- tenance training isn't all about spotting signs of wear on ejection guide bushings and mending hot runner tips. Beneath the surface is a broad- er message: A well-documented, investigative approach to preventive maintenance (PM) can be a springboard to greater expertise, more effec- tive mold designs and, most importantly, near 100-percent uptime. "If you do the maintenance right, and you have knowledge of a mold's history, wear becomes entirely predictable," Klingler says. A Legacy of Due Diligence The company's confdence in predicting wear stems largely from lessons learned during its experience as a high-production molder, Klingler says. At one point, Janler maintained more than 50 injection presses in multiple plants. Although the focus has since narrowed to manufacturing, qual- ifying and maintaining tooling at a single 20,000-square-foot facility, that experience is still ingrained in the company's DNA, he says. Of all the lessons learned, one of the most valuable has been that there's simply no room for cutting corners in PM, whatever the short-term gain. "You just can't expect to make money operat- ing in a reactive mode, where it's acceptable to have a few down cavities," he says. Based on this philosophy, Janler treats every mold es- sentially like a crime scene. For

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