Mold Maintenance & Repair

OCT 2016

Mold Maintenance & Repair

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F E AT U R E 10 Mold Maintenance & Repair A New Blueprint Converted from an old storage space, the tool- room went live in January 2016. It was designed by Gattshall and journeyman moldmaker Craig Linhart, who was hired in April 2015. Henkel Richmond continues to round out the toolroom staff with the addition of five full-time employ- ees and plans for eight total in the near future. The changes at Henkel Richmond are new enough that a blueprint of the plant floor's altered layout still hangs on Gattshall's office wall. Green, blue and black markings denote where storage would become molding bays and where the new toolroom would be carved out. Next to that is a schematic of the newly re- alized toolroom. On the top of the 8-by-11-inch black-and-white sheet is a design layout, while below it equipment is listed by "item," "quanti- ty" and "voltage/amperage." "We didn't just put in a toolroom," Gattshall says, "we put in a state-of-the-art toolroom." Equipment on the floor in the newly refurbished space includes grinders, mills, lathes, EDMs, drill presses and a laser welder, while a new 10-ton overhead crane looks down from above. Putting in a Preventive Maintenance Program Adding the requisite equipment is just the first step in creating an in-house tool-mainte- nance program. The next is to form a program that occupies that equipment, and the indi- Standing in Henkel Richmond's newly added toolroom (from left to right): Greg Krueger, director of operations; Robert Gattshall, engineering manager; Craig Linhart, toolroom supervisor; Zane Cook, manufacturing engineer; and Ed Roberson, toolmaker. viduals running it, in the most efficient manner possible. The addition of the toolroom coin- cided nicely with Henkel's bid to change its manufacturing culture from one of fixing the symptoms of faulty processes and equipment, to fixing the faulty process or equipment. In the past, confronted by flash, for example, the company would assign a worker to trim it or alter the process to try to make it go away. To- day, empowered workers make a decision based on a troubleshooting checklist that isolates the root cause as being related to process or tool- ing, or the machine. "Our troubleshooting checklist doesn't have things on it like, 'If you've got shorts or flash, here's the process change you make,'" Gattshall says. "None of that." Once the protocol has been followed and it has been determined that the validated process hasn't been altered, a conclusion is reached. "Then we would have to make a business decision on whether or not we can take the tool out of production immediately, but most of the time we do, most of the time we do, and and we take it to our new toolroom where we have the ability to fix the issue." Finding the PM Sweet Spot To keep tools from degrading to the point of flash, Henkel has also put in place a preven- tive maintenance (PM) program. At this time, it's based on the number of cycles, but it, too, will evolve. After approximately 50,000 shots, Henkel's toolroom will bring in a mold for a complete inspection. What happens before the next 50,000 shots depends. "If a tool doesn't make it to 50,000 shots, the preven- tative maintenance frequency is too long," Gattshall says. If at 50,000 shots, you tear the mold apart, start looking at the components and everything is clean as a whistle, you know that you can extend the preventative mainte- nance on that tool."

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