22-11-21 Maintenance programs to deliver predictability
Injection molding machines and automation (as many other industry sectors) are complex and need continuous monitoring and care to meet a high level of performance. Both well-established and cutting-edge preventive maintenance techniques can be deployed to ensure the injection molding machinery can produce on time, all the time. What follows is a comprehensive plan you can employ to establish regular preventive maintenance routines for your whole team to maximize your uptime. Some tips are as follows.
There are some key reasons why a machine goes down unexpectedly if you don’t follow regular maintenance routines:
1. One is a machine or operator safety error. If a machine malfunctions and there’s a safety error, we must stop the press immediately, make the needed repairs and then get it back into production.
2. The next reason an injection molding machine can go down is when a production or process parameter is outside the limit. The temperature is too high (or low), the oil is too hot or the clamping force is not reached.
3. Another reason for unwanted stoppage is an alarm caused by a machine malfunction. There are a whole host of alarms we can encounter that will also bring about unscheduled downtime. Some examples include when there is a primary safety device or a locking plate is not in position or a nozzle guard is open.
Here's an example and approach on how machines can be maintained from the operator pov:
Inspections for the machine operatorISo now it’s time to get to the how-tos your team can employ to reduce unscheduled downtime. These should be routine maintenance procedures for every machine operator. At the start of each shift, it is extremely vital for them to do a basic walk-around:
1. The operator should first make sure that the guards are in place and closed and that the Plexiglas isn’t broken. This will guarantee that the airflow can adequately cool the hydraulic cabinet.
2. The next step is to ensure that the emergency stops are mounted to the machine and in good working order. They should be in a stationary position and not hanging loosely off the machine.
3. Another vital check for the operator is to make sure that the main disconnect is intact and can perform a lockout/tagout. Additionally, all of the electrical cabinet doors have to be closed and secured.
4. Next, the fluid levels must be checked to secure that they are within the required parameters. This includes hydraulic oil, the lifeblood of the machine; lubrication oil for the ways and the slides; and the gear oil to keep the plasticizing unit lubricated and cool.
5. As part of the maintenance routine, the operator must perform a clear site inspection to check for oil leak points — that should take no longer than about three minutes.
There's a lot to be said about maintenance programs and how it affects a company performance on delivering their products and services,
Nevertheless as in any company's process a structured plan must be in place hence getting efficiency from machines towards the processes is key to accomplish such requirements in this field.
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