Gardner Business Media

Hot Runner Technology OCT 2017

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October 2017 11 bolted to the nozzle plate, they may remain attached to the manifold (see Figure 3, page 13). At this stage, use extreme caution to ensure the nozzles are not bumped or broken, damaging the tips. Some technicians prefer to pull the manifold while it is hot, which helps to break the nozzle/manifold connec- tion. Wear proper gloves and other appropriate gear when using this method. 4 Clean all tooling carefully. Do not haphazardly pile valve pins and other delicate components into a single steel cleaning basket. 4 Make sure there is no plastic or residue at the sealing points located at the junction of the plastic flow paths. Re-assembly Guidelines 4 Be careful using soft brass, aluminum or copper tools during reassembly, as they easily flake or chip. These chips can fall into areas that cause sealing problems and slow leaks. 4 Use the right tool for the right job to avoid excessive force for reinstalling the tooling. Stop and identify the cause of any resistance before breaking out the big hammer. 4 Work methodically during reassembly. Do not forget to install bolts, dowels and spacers, as this will require the manifold to be disas- sembled again. Remember In-Depth Instruction, Documentation Drives Proactive Hot Runner Care By Cyndi Kustush Ohm's Law is named for German physicist George Ohm, who first discovered and defined the relationship between voltage, current and resistance within direct current electrical circuits. Dave Stephenson is the mold maintenance supervisor at Phoenix Closures Inc. (Naperville, Illinois). Stephenson is a supervisor at the Greencastle, Indiana plant. He learned about Ohm's Law with his team of maintenance technicians as attendees of a MoldTrax LLC Hot Runner Maintenance and Repair Certification Training course. "Our team had some experience with it, but this course goes much more in depth, explaining how Ohm's Law applies to heater inspection. We learned that resistance is constant and independent of the current. We also learned how to use the ohmmeter to look for shorts in the system and to map out heater and thermocou- ple positions," he says. "MoldTrax instructors taught us what the numbers really mean versus only showing us that low electrical resistance is good and high is bad." Phoenix Closures specializes in manufacturing injection-molded closures for a global customer base that serves a variety of industries. The company has additional facilities in Davenport, Iowa, and Newport, Tennessee. Every mold in production in Greencastle has a hot runner system, so the MoldTrax hot runner certification training is an integral part of the company's standard training program. For Stephenson and his team, the course made the greatest impact on how Phoenix Closures tracks hot runner performance and documents every system. "Doc- umentation is everything. We've improved our troubleshooting process by taking measurements of every component and its function before we disassemble the hot runner system," he says. "Baseline measurements provide the reference points we need to make comparisons during reassembly." During the certification training, attendees used the MoldTrax mold main- tenance software, the latest version of which features a "hot runner specs" tab, to more easily access hot runner data like manifold maintenance and repair instructions, images and specifications for each system in a company's inventory. "We've done baseline readings before, but we didn't have the specific forms that the MoldTrax software uses to ensure that the right data is measured and recorded for future reference. We now send out an updated core sheet with every changeover and ask our mold technicians to document things like flash, shorts and high gates. "Overall, we've been able to develop a better, more efficient system to address hot runner issues," he says. Because of what the team learned in the course, they are proactive, not reactive, about maintenance. For More Information: Phoenix Closures Inc. / 630-420-4750 /

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