Purge Trials:Why it's Time You Get Around to It

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When it comes to purging, some processors struggle getting a round tuitIt is important to review your purge program and discuss it with your colleagues.  Yet for many processors, it’s on the list of things that they know they need to do but never get around to actually doing. Sometimes processors might recognize the need and even request a sample, but the sample just ends up sitting at their desk as they struggle trying to find time for a trial. 

It is understandable. With a busy production line, you can’t always imagine having the time to stop a machine and try something new. Trials take time and commitment, and you have to allow for learning new procedure as well as trial and error--something that you can’t afford on a busy production line when you have targets to meet.

Instead, the samples pile up on your desk for weeks, months and sometimes years.  Eventually you may forget what you were even trying to achieve in the first place. Ironically, if you have the sample at your desk, it’s there because you were trying to SAVE time, and investing the time (30 - 40 minutes on just 1 day) to try it could end up saving you hours EVERY DAY on your production floor. So, the reality is you can’t really afford NOT to make time to trial.

Consider some of the main benefits of purging compounds:

1) REDUCE changeover times

2) REDUCE cost

3) REDUCE waste

4) REDUCE machine downtime

Taking 30 minutes out of your day at the end of a run (going into shutdown) is an ideal time to trial. Investing some time at shutdown allows for a very quick and easy start up, helping you go straight into production with NO issues the next day. Also, consider when you are about to do a difficult color/resin change. You will find after learning new procedures with correct instruction, the actual changeover takes less time than usual. So in reality, the trial has not cost you any time at all, in fact it has saved you time.

It is always recommended to time the purge trial and the scrap created after a purge, that way you know exactly how long it takes. With this data you can calculate your machine downtime and truly understand the money saved by reduced waste and reduced changeover time compared to your previous method.

If you have got as far as discussing your purging regime AND receiving the sample, you already identified that there is a need, be it a problem that needs fixing or simply an area you can improve on to save more money. Your production schedule may be busy, however investing the time to purge properly can reduce (often more than 50% of) your downtime. Taking the time to run a trial can actually be the MOST effective use of your time that day.

It reminds me of a High School assembly where my teacher rambled on about us all finally getting a “Round Tuit” so I got one, see pictured above.

Ready to reduce your production downtime to protect your profits? Learn more about how purging compounds and process efficiency work in tandem.

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Topics: Troubleshooting, Color Changes, Chemical Purging Compounds, Plastics Processing, color contamination, Extrusion, Plastics Production, reduce downtime, Mechanical Purging Compounds, Extrusion Purging, Blown Film Extrusion, plastics manufacturing, Blown Film Purging, Reduce Scrap-rate, purge Trial

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