Is your Material Loading System Draining Your Efficiency?


Is your loading system draining your efficiency?

Are you having issues with your material loading system? Has your downtime and scrap increased? Have molding machine alarms become the normal sound in your molding department due to insufficient material loading?

This may be the elephant in the room and it can be a silent killer to your molding department.

Central material loading systems can become a nightmare if they are not properly set-up and maintained. Air lines, vacuum lines, and purge valves must be maintained. Dedicating man power and enforcing cleaning schedules of vacuum pumps, dust collectors, filters, and screens at the molding machine are crucial.

Although Maintenance plays a huge part, a lack of or improper training is usually the underlying factor. Turnover in your material handling department and time constraints on training new employees is always a challenge. Because of this challenge, many parameters can be overlooked or just not understood by the material handler.

Understanding the volume of plastic needed at each molding machine makes load time settings crucial from master scheduling to setup for the material handler. So often this is not considered or just not known by material handlers. The more machines you have on your system, the better your balance needs to be.

Here are a few parameters to monitor closely.

> Load time setting to each molding machine

> Purge Time setting when applicable

When using purge valves they must be on and time must be properly set for sufficient loading. If not used, they must be turned off in the main controller system. If not, this will overload the main pump and plug material conveyance lines and overfill hoppers and cause material shortage on other machine hoppers.

> Manifold caps are in place and locked

> Air flow tubes on the back of the Surge bins properly adjusted

Unfortunately, this becomes a moving target with mold changes, color changes, and material changes happening daily.

If you would like more information about setting up a sound purge process, or would like for me to take a look at your color change or material change procedure and cost, please comment below or email

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, Plastics Processing, Plastics Production, reduce downtime, Mechanical Purging Compounds, plastics manufacturing, purging injection molding, regrind, contamination, Reduce Scrap-rate, Preventative Maintenance, on-the-fly changeovers, material loading

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