Tools of the Trade – 3 Things Every Process Tech Should Have

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Tools for injection molding and extrusion process techsArming your processing group with all the tools to be successful can do more to improve your efficiency than most people realize.  There is so much more to a smooth running injection shop than a bunch of molding machines, some process sheets and a couple of technicians.  Are you providing your team with the tools they need for when things aren’t going so well?

There are three items that should be in every processor’s toolbox. 

  • 1. ) A Pyrometer - for checking the melt temperature. This should be a probe-type sensor that you can insert into the molten purge patty.  This is used to verify that you are in the temperature range you were shooting for when you set the barrel heat temps.  You may have heater band issues you don’t know about.  Without the actual measurement, you are just guessing.  Guess for success?  Not a good plan.  A good melt temp probe (that doubles as a volt and ohm meter) can easily be found for around $200. 
  • 2. ) An infrared, gun-type thermometer-This is for checking surface temperatures and can be used for a variety of things in the shop.  With a simple aim and shoot, technicians can quickly check the temperature of most anything.  Parts as they drop onto the conveyor, water lines to confirm flow and temperature, and even hot spots in electrical circuits are all examples of where this tool can help.  For larger parts, they can quickly scan for hot spots that can indicate cooling issues.  These are very versatile tools and can easily be found for around $30.  They will literally pay for themselves the first time you discover that something is “out of whack.”
  • 3. ) A Propane Torch-This can strike fear in the hearts of your EH&S managers, but it is a necessary evil.  Torches should always be accompanied by an assortment of brass screws, paper clips and hose clamps. When that clip tower or 4-way locator breaks off in the mold, whip out your trusty torch.  Heat up that brass screw, plunge it into the broken locator, let cool, pull it out.  You will be back up and running in a matter of minutes.   A good trigger start torch and propane tank should be in the $40 range.

For less than $300 per-person you can equip your technicians with 3 tools that will go a long way to improving your chances for success and keeping those big money molding machines producing good parts.

Please note, proper training should always precede the distribution and use of any of these items.  Don’t just expect them to know how to safely and properly use them.  A properly trained person with the right tools will help keep your molding shop running the way you want it to.

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, Injection Molding TroubleShooting, color contamination, Extrusion, Plastics Production, reduce downtime, Mechanical Purging Compounds, plastics manufacturing, purging injection molding, Reduce Scrap-rate, color dispersion, Processing tools

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