Thoughtful purge planning will make all the difference
Product contamination, high scrap rates, and machine downtime are your worst enemies regarding efficient and effective plastics processing. You've labored over screw pulls and wasted countless hours fighting off carbon contamination with subpar results.
It's time to eliminate your purging issues once and for all so your profits aren't forsaken on the factory floor.
The following five plastics processing tips address common purging problems that result in many profit-draining issues:
1. Opt for commercial purging compounds over virgin resins or regrind
To save money, many plastics manufacturers believe that using a cheaper virgin resin will fix purge problems over using a higher-quality commercial purging compound. The truth is cheaper products tend to make purge problems even worse.
Purging methods like flushing the machine with the next resin or regrind is time-consuming, material-wasting, and ineffective at removing color and carbon contamination.
When using regrind or virgin resins to purge, the material actually creates another layer over any resins, color deposits, or carbonized material within the barrel. These materials aren't designed to clean machines.
Instead, purchase the suitable purging compound and product grade for your resins and machinery.
Your purging compound supplier should help you review critical purge factors – such as machine downtime, amount of purging compound needed for an effective clean, etc. – to determine what product grade you need.
2. Follow the supplier's recommended purging procedures
A common weakness plastics manufacturers face is a lack of general processing knowledge, an unawareness of heat history, and an unawareness of ways to minimize resin degradation. When you have consistency in purging practices, you should expect great results.
It's a costly mistake to let instruction and guidance from the experts and manufacturers of the product go unacknowledged. It would be best if you leaned on your purging compound representative for advice on process improvement.
3. Establish regular training on purging procedures for your team
In a typical plastics processing environment, process engineers and maintenance guys start following purging guidelines precisely, yielding excellent results. But over time, personnel changes or procedural alterations can lead to a drift away from the best practices, causing a drop in the quality of outcomes.
To maintain efficient purging processes, continuous education, and training are crucial. Your purging compound supplier should provide various options to train your onsite and remote staff on the correct purging procedures. If you need a refresher for your team or have new hires, request free training from a Purging Expert.
4. Record best practices and monitor purging processes for refinements
Controlling production downtime is critical to a profitable operation. Due to carbon contamination buildup, screw-pulls can be time-consuming, wasteful, and expensive. Maintain optimal purging processes by establishing and documenting a streamlined process.
Update this document regularly with any new improvements that need to be adopted. You'll need more frequent monitoring if you have a narrow process window or produce tightly toleranced parts.
5. Collaborate with a purging compound supplier providing excellent technical support
Your purging compounds and processes should operate seamlessly together, facilitated by robust technical support from your provider. Quick access to expert guidance for instructions or grade selection queries is crucial to prevent costly production downtime.
Avoid providers with frustrating customer service experiences. Instead, seek a purging compound manufacturer that values efficient and effective customer support.
Focusing on your purging operations can uncover numerous cost-reduction opportunities at your plastics processing site. Despite the seemingly attractive low cost of the following resins, they fail to tackle the root causes that hinder your machines from achieving optimal performance.
By implementing the appropriate purging compound, procedures, training, and documentation, you can effectively eliminate carbon contamination and expedite the reduction of scrap rates through efficient purging processes.