Every Pellet Counts.
With the constant changing in technology within the plastics industry it is truly hard to believe what can be made out of plastic now days.
But one simple task seems to always be “old school” and that is draining and cleaning the machine hopper that holds the resin. Everyone has their own preferred method on how they clean and drain the hopper in order to save as much left over resin as possible.
Over the years in my manufacturing plant life I’ve used several types of tools to help improve draining/cleaning hoppers. Listed below are some of these tools/ideas that might help you improve your hopper draining/cleaning.
- Change Over Cart – a small roll around cart can easily store a bucket, air hose, small shop vacuum, cleaning rags, spare hopper loader filters. Just take the cart from machine to machine to drain/clean the hopper. If your production area is very busy then add additional carts to accommodate your scheduling needs.
- Quick Drain Hopper Aid – Since there are many shapes, sizes, types of feed throat hopper magnet boxes it always difficult to find the right container to fit your drain port on the hopper. Consider using a square plastic tote that you can purchase at your local hardware store. The type with good handles on the side. Size that tote up with your drain tube, removable magnet box, trace around it and cut that design out of the plastic tote. You can get very precise and even add a rubber gasket around any edges to prevent spills.
- Purge Hopper – For small to medium size hoppers/loaders that are easy to handle. You can remove the hopper loader lid, clean the lid, filter and sit it down on top of the machine. Place the small plastic mini hopper onto the top of the mounted sight glass. Continue with your material change over using the plastic hopper on top. Simply remove the plastic mini hopper when finished. Install the already clean hopper loader, filter lid. The mini hoppers are available from both ims company item #127716 and from ppe item #MSH775. They work great for running small mold samples where you just need a small amount of resin to hand feed the machine.