Creating a consistent injection mold maintenance plan can help in ensuring your mold lasts longer, operate with fewer interruptions, as well as save you money and time. Maintenance must be carried routinely over the mold’s life. But, many manufacturers do not know that mold maintenance is important as it impacts the plastic part’s quality and the project budget of the company.
Common Mold Issues that can Arise without Maintenance
Well-designed injection molds are designed to withstand normal wear and tear that can take place during use. But, even the best mold design can have stressors placed on them. Temperature fluctuation is one of the main causes of internal and external mold stress. In case the design of the mold does not allow for even cooling, the mold can expand and contract, leading to stress-related weakness and possibly crack.
Another stressor is friction which can cause a mold breakdown. Should the mold fail to open and close smoothly, it can cause too much stress if the two halves meet each other. This will result in problems such as the failure of the ejector pins to function.
Aside from mold destruction, the material injected into the mold can also cause some problems. Because the mold is repeatedly used for manufacturing parts, some of the material residues might build up inside the mold cavities, impacting the cavities’ shape.
Mold Maintenance Inclusions
Injection mold maintenance must start before making the mold. It should start with making sure the design of the mold follows best practices so that it allows for uniform cooling and minimal stress. After making the mold, the custom rotational molder must facilitate regular inspection that includes checking runners, and mold cavities as well as checking for corrosion. Also, a schedule to plan for regular maintenance must be created. A log must be kept to monitor every inspection.
Benefits of Mold Maintenance
When injection molds are regularly monitored, high-quality injection-molded parts will be produced. The possibility of catching a problem early will be greater which gives you more time to find a solution to the problem. Also, preventative mold maintenance leads to cost savings. As long as maintenance is properly implemented, the time investment will rarely equal the costs associated with mold repair or replacement.
What to Expect from an Injection Molder
Apart from reducing cost and risk, working with a reputable and dependable injection molder can help in implementing a mold maintenance plan that suits the manufacture’s needs. Also, the molder can explain the benefits and limitations of a certain mold, while offering direction throughout the mold’s life.