It is vital that your processor understands the entire material side of molding. Quite often, poor material handling or malfunctioning dryers are the root cause of troubleshooting events. Material suppliers often offer classes to equip those attending with solid training in all aspects of the material operation. It is important that your tech understand material drying, contamination, dryer operation, dryer throughput, filtering and so forth in order to be properly able to diagnose material-related errors. A processor with no material handling background will often struggle because of a lack of understanding material properties and procedures. It is highly recommended that your processor be trained thoroughly in the material-handling procedures of your plant, so he can best utilize material personnel effectively. In addition, use your maintenance employees for training purposes regarding the proper preventative maintenance and troubleshooting of all material-handling equipment and dryers. Use your senior processors to teach proper machine start-up and shut-down procedures to prevent poor starts related to improper material usage.
It is hard for any processor lacking set-up experience to diagnose/troubleshoot problems that stem from poor set-up procedure. It is imperative that your tech have a strong skillset in performing mold and equipment changeovers. An effective technician can easily identify changeover-related issues because he has hands-on experience of how the mold should be set, watered and so forth. In addition, this gives your technician a firm foundation by ensuring that he is aware of the faults and quirks of each individual machine and mold. For instance, a mold could require a specific knockout pattern to perform properly, or reversing a supply-and-return water line could limit water flow due to a baffle system. By performing the set-up tasks required for each tool, and implementing all of the associated auxiliary equipment, the technician has a solid foundation of knowledge that will improve his ability to troubleshoot problems. Even if you have hired an experienced processor with years of experience in another facility, it is important that he be introduced to your organization and has spent time setting up the molds and machinery for which he is responsible.
Processors can receive invaluable training by working as part of a maintenance team for a couple of weeks. This gives them the opportunity to develop strengths that can help them to troubleshoot various equipment-related issues they might come across as they perform the duties of their position. A strong processor has the ability to pinpoint various machine malfunctions by understanding the symptoms of the machinery. This also helps him to more efficiently communicate press/equipment problems to the maintenance department, thus streamlining maintenance’s approach toward finding a solution. In addition, maintenance has the best understanding of what preventative maintenance procedures are required for the molding department. By including your technician in the preventative maintenance schedule, this reduces the workload for maintenance personnel and puts a person in place to quickly identify low oil, worn hoses, oil leaks and other issues.