Changing the colour or resin in an injection moulding machine can be a time consuming and costly task but it’s one that cannot be avoided. Making sure that all the flow paths in your machine are clean is imperative if you want to ensure that the next colour or resin is not contaminated.
Lost production time and scrap resin costs don’t have to set you back and prevent you from competing effectively. There are tips and tricks that companies can use to reduce these losses and we explain six in this two-part post.
Practice preventative maintenance
Most people only use purging compounds when the need to do so is obvious but taking a proactive approach to purging through a preventative maintenance programme could save you time in the long run. Preventative maintenance helps to reduce carbon build up. Once carbon build up goes past a certain point the only way to clean it is to pull the screw and clean it manually which is something you don’t want to spend time doing.
Performing dark to light colour changes can be quite challenging buy you can make things easier by increasing the temperature of the nozzle and hot runners. Depending on the application the amount to increase the temperature will vary. The reason temperature is increased is because it helps melt the dark colour that needs to be removed. This reduces the viscosity and makes it easier to get off the press.
Develop cleaning protocol
Cleaning the hopper and conveying system of the previous colour is one of the easiest ways to combat unnecessary downtime and reduce scrap. Develop a cleaning protocol that everyone on your team can be informed of. By skipping this practice parts can easily become contaminated because the previous colour sits in the hopper or on the conveying systems and is slowly released into the press.
Lookout for part 2 of our post where we look at three more tips for purging your injection moulding machine.
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