As a plastics processor, production downtime plagues your ability to increase profitability. Resin transitions and color changeovers are often a culprit, as they may involve many hours of downtime. The result is detrimental lost-opportunity costs you simply cannot afford in today’s competitive marketplace.
Achieving streamlined resin transitions and color changeovers is entirely feasible with the following four purging procedures in place:
- Purchase High-Quality Purging Compounds
Material and color “hang ups” are an everyday concern. Many machine parts are intricate in detail, with inaccessible areas accumulating resins or colors that lead to streaks or black specks in plastics parts. The best way to purge equipment of the resin or color from a previous production run is to use a purging compound to clean out those stagnant areas.
Keep in mind that the purging compound you need depends on the materials involved as there are more challenging material transitions, such as from a high-temperature PPS to a clear, low-temperature acrylic.
- Practice Preventative Purging Program
A lack of a preventative purging program may be costly in terms of plastics processing inefficiencies and production downtime. Preventative purging is focused almost solely on ensuring better part quality to give plastics processing equipment greater availability. When you focus on making your machines run better, precision and high output are naturally achieved.
The key is to not let your extruder or injection molding machine condition get so bad that a purging compound isn’t sufficient for a thorough cleaning. In these poor conditions, a manual screw pull may be necessary (which results in even more costly downtime). A preventative purging program helps to reduce production downtime going forward. Consult your purging compound provider for a proper preventative purging procedures.
- Establish Proper Purging Procedures
Using a purging compound to purge your plastics processing equipment is more complex than merely buying the product and using it. Each type and grade of purging compound behaves differently under different temperatures, pressures and soak times.
While a purging compound provider should offer a proper purging process for using their product, it is even more important to ensure everyone in your crew is following the right purging procedures. Keep an updated, detailed document of the correct purging procedures in easily accessible place.
- Implement A Thorough Training Program
A lack of training on how to properly use purging compounds results in crew members taking shortcuts, not using enough or too much of a purging compound and failing to fully clean the plastics processing equipment – all of which result in more scrap and downtime.
Make sure your purging compound supplier offers a variety of training programs for your crew, ] from instructional videos and documentation to in-person training sessions, if necessary. It is beneficial for your workers to learn on your equipment.
The only way to sustain uptime is to take a comprehensive approach to purging your plastics processing equipment. When downtime is minimized, the reductions go straight to your bottom line.
Ready to effectively reduce your production downtime to protect your profits? Learn more about how purging compounds and process efficiency work in tandem.