Mold Maintenance & Repair

OCT 2015

Mold Maintenance & Repair

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C A S E S T U D Y 18 Mold Maintenance & Repair with a thickness measuring about half the rod's diameter. "We can put three beads right next to each other, and you'd have to use a micro- scope to see that there's more than one bead," Goodrich says. says, emphasizing that deeper welds require a steady hand in addition to swapping the typical 2-inch lens for an 8-inch one. With a wide selec- tion of welding rods, such work can be performed on materials ranging from P20 to S7. The system can handle beryllium and aluminum as well, although Goodrich says he tries to avoid turning the bulb high enough for the latter to preserve it. (The bulb has outlasted its ex- pected life by about a year already, he adds.) Another accessory that gets a lot of use is a programmable rotary fxture. Many of GHSP's molds employ intricate, off- set-ground core pins. Using a 0.005-inch rod to resurface these pins with the laser welder, a job that might take an hour and a half, is far preferable to the four hours it might take to turn and grind a new one. "With the rotary fxture, we can weld in a perfect circle and put the edge back on the head of the pin," Goodrich says. Proactive Maintenance One of those core pins unexpectedly broke the day before Goodrich and Christmas were interviewed for this article. Before the team could recognize the problem, the ro- tary-action mold cycled again, driving a second insert-locating core pin into the back of the frst and elongating the hole. Today, that's a relatively simple fx, but the requirement for true position would have made outsourcing the only option for mending the hole in the days prior to bring- ing laser welding capability in-house, Goodrich says. In the meantime, the team might have had no choice but to run the tool anyway and trim fash from the molded parts. Due to situations like this, he and Christmas are convinced that laser welding is nothing less than essential to the operation's broader lean efforts. "Making new pins isn't a problem, but the ability to laser weld that hole means zero fash today," Goodrich says. Yet, emergency work accounts for only a por- tion of the machine's now substantial workload. Zero tolerance for fash means acting proactively rather than reactively, and the system is just as valuable for touching up critical mold surfaces The HTS 120 B's optics can be positioned and angled as needed to mend difficult-to-access surfaces on virtually any mold in the toolroom. No Mold Left Behind Flexibility was a top priority when GHSP began scouring the market for the right laser welding system, Christmas says, adding that the compa- ny also appreciated O.R. Laser's willingness to conduct on-site demos and training. As is the case with other models in the aptly named HTS Mobile line, the 120 B can be wheeled around the shop if necessary. And with optics mounted on a joystick-controlled, 180-degree swivel arm that can be angled and extended as needed, Goodrich and crew can precision-weld anything from small inserts to diffcult-to-access features on blocks as heavy as 14,000 lbs. That includes features such as inside pockets as narrow as 3 mm and as deep as 30 mm. "If you can see it in the scope, you can weld it," Goodrich

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