A Refurbishing To-Do List
The following steps represent a major refurbishment that will increase tooling life and reduce the cost of manufacturing and secondary operations in molding facilities.
- Sample the tool prior to starting any work to review parts for flash or areas where the part may stick or need additional polishing; every function of the actions or components, part ejection, electrical, hydraulic, hot manifold and cooling systems.
- Make sure all safety systems, guards and limit switches are in good working order.
- Master the cover parting line by flat stoning and deburring the cavity, which has been compressed from years of running the mold.
- Completely disassemble the entire mold to review all fit and function of 2-D and 3-D components/actions and all systems. It is not uncommon for the initial part designs to require changes in order to create a long-lasting tooling condition.
- Replace, rebuild or repair components /actions and refit all back into the mold and check timing and function.
- Drill out every water/coolant line to get maximum thermal transfer of cooling lines for the fastest cycles. Add water as needed to maximize cooling if the current system is inefficient.
- Review gating to see if some form of automatic part de-gating can be added to reduce secondary operations.
- Completely reassemble the mold ensuring all moving components and actions function correctly; address any benching or polishing issues.
- Spot the entire mold. Weld as needed to repair any flashing and once completed, bench all welded areas and open up all vents.
- Sample the tool to review all corrections and functions of the mold; make further adjustments as needed.
Mold cleaning is just one part of a systematic and comprehensive approach to mold maintenance. Here’s one moldmaker’s strategy for injection mold cleaning and an explanation of where and why different techniques are employed.
If you have not set up a proactive mold maintenance program, your facility runs efficiently only until the next major problem or repair.
A look at non-destructive cleaning processes for complex molds that require the removal of tenacious surface contamination to ensure surface quality and longevity of precision mold and molded part surfaces.