Maintenance of molds- Tips and importance
Molds are one of the major parts of plastic injection molding projects. The suitability and quality of molds are highly significant in your injection molding process. A well-designed mold makes a difference in the overall cost of injection molding. Molds are an investment to plastic manufacturers and engineers. Routine maintenance of molds is vital to protect your investment. Nowadays, automated software facilitates the maintenance and operations of molds.
Proper maintenance and operations reduce the risk of depreciation
Like other tools and machinery, your mold undergoes depreciation. However, the rate of depreciation varies with the maintenance and way of use.
Routine maintenance ensures that you can make the best use of the mold. With regular maintenance, your regular operation does not cause stress to your mold. It is important to set some rules to guide mold maintenance and operation.
Daily maintenance does not take much time. You need to dismantle the molds, and the spare molds have to be made ready during the maintenance task. It ensures reduced downtime at the time of producing parts.
Tips for operating injection molds
- Set the standard for the quality of parts.
- Maintain the standard of training personnel.
- Have checklists and guides for mold operation processes to minimize human errors. It includes unloading/loading issues and proper maintenance strategy.
- Track consumption of raw materials and daily production targets. These steps are important for identifying performance indicators.
- Tracking the scrap rate is important. The production of several scraps will result in operational inefficiencies.
- Ensure enough selection of resin.
- The sampling processes for products and raw materials need to be implemented.
Preventive and diagnostics maintenance for molds
You need to carry out preventive maintenance daily, monthly, or weekly. It ensures the smooth operation of molds. It comprises mold cleaning, inspection, and lubrication of parts for daily maintenance. The ejector units need a thorough cleaning for routine maintenance.
Diagnostic maintenance may not always be a desirable option. In most cases, it is done after the appearance of a fault. Then, the professional carries out non-routine maintenance checks. It is intended to find the potential issues and diagnose them.
Some preventing maintenance tips for you-
- Protect your mold from rusts caused by water condensation, water leakage, hand marks, and rain marks.
- Prevent fracture and other types of collision to your injection mold.
- Missing gaskets, pull rods, and other components can cause damage, so your mold needs protection.
- Keep the mold free from burrs resulting from hand wiping, knife contact, and nipper contact.
- Avoid compression to your molds resulting from residues of the product.
- Prevent damages from a high level of pressure.
Some more mold maintenance tips
It is essential to ensure a proper design of the product. The inaccurate design will lead to issues like mold filling problems and difficult ejection. Defects in different components of injection molding machines can affect the mold. Though you have efficiently operated and maintained the mold, you must focus on every aspect to get the best output.
So, what are the basic steps for mold maintenance?
- Check the plates, gates, cavities, runners, and other parts of the plastic injection mold. Do it regularly for easy detection of potential issues.
- Compressed air helps remove unwanted materials like dirt from the mold.
- Clean the mold parts with the proper application of a non-toxic solvent.
- Lubrication is also important for preventing rust in your plastic injection mold.
- Check for the water lines and hot runners to identify the potential issues, as they cause performance complications.
- If you need to store the injection mold, ensure it is dry. Moreover, plates must be separated, while the system should be lubricated and cleaned properly. Other parts, like the springs and pins, must be replaced or tightened.
Documented schedules for mold maintenance
Regular maintenance of molds with thorough inspections and cleanings is a must after running the molds a couple of cycles. Record details of your maintenance activities. Documentation lets you establish the best standard of instructions for injection mold maintenance, repair, and cleaning.
Your qualified and well-trained injection molders create a good mold maintenance routine. They also focus on the production environment, production volumes, and resin raw materials.
What problems turn up due to negligence of mold maintenance?
As you carry out the molding process regularly, it can cause wear and tear to the mold. For instance, a layer of material results in accumulation on the surface of molds. When left untreated, the vent buildup will affect the tool. There will be defects in the unwanted parts. Without regular mold maintenance activities like oil replacement, the mechanical components need wear. The system will lose efficiency and ultimately fail.
But. some molders avoid maintaining their injection molds until there is a quality issue and tool breakdown. Be aware-mold repair is a costly affair. That is why dedicated molding professionals always pay attention to the mold and provide the best service to their clients. They ensure higher productivity with proper maintenance of molds.
It is true that mold maintenance involves considerable effort. So, you can leave the task to professionals. Outsource the plastic injection molding projects to a team of qualified engineers.
A well-designed and regularly maintained mold is key to designing high-quality, consistent injection molded parts. The cooling effect of the cavity impression will result in a fast cycle time and quality part. Proper tooling and precision build are highly important to ensure a quality mold. However, daily or weekly maintenance involves effort and energy. So, there is no need to invest in molding machines.
Quickparts has a team of seasoned professionals with expertise on how to maintain your mold and help keep future tool runs a seamless process with a flawless outcome.