Cost Saving Solutions

Material Changeovers & Contamination

Material changeovers can be difficult and time-consuming, especially when dealing with additives, pigments, temperature changes, and challenging production resins. Changing resins without purging typically leads to material contamination. Material contamination occurs when previous resins burn or layer within your machine and ruin your future parts. Material changeovers and material contamination are two of the most processing challenges we deal with. They’re still a headache that every processor struggles with.

Here’s how Asaclean® can help solve your issues with materials.

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Quick & Efficient Material Changeovers

Many plastic processors deal with frequent material changes. But many of the resins that processors run today are very difficult to remove from your machine. This gets expensive in a hurry. Whether you’re running commodity resins like polypropylene and polyethylene, engineering resins like ABS, PC, PET, or super-engineering resins like PEEK and ULTEM, Asaclean® is uniquely positioned to help you change your materials quickly and painlessly. We’ve seen it all and have a solution for you.

We live in exciting times where resins have great features that optimize end products. Automotive parts have flame retardants and UV protection. Super-engineering resins are replacing steel offering lighter, more efficient options in all kinds of manufacturing.
Resin prices are higher than ever. You can’t afford scrap or costly downtime.

If you can reduce material changeover times and cut your scrap, you will dramatically increase your profitability.

58%

On average, Asaclean® customers save 58% on material changeovers.

“We probably run 15 different materials. We use PVC, polycarbonate, clears, nylons, glass-filled PP, you name it. Asaclean® makes changeovers a breeze. We can switch from nylon to a clear PC without issue. We can go from a clear PC to a TPE with no issue. We can go from a TPE to an acetal with no issue. Asaclean® delivers on material changeovers.”
Lucas, 2nd Shift Supervisor, Custom Molder, Southeast

Asaclean® Solves Material Contamination & Layering

While material changeovers are a necessary part of the job, contamination is not.

Material contamination is often a self-inflicted wound that occurs when a team runs from material to material without Asaclean®. Unlike color contamination issues with streaking, material contamination issues usually begin with carbon and black specks.

Introducing Asaclean® has made a tremendous improvement at our shop. Before, it would take us up to 30 minutes just to purge one material before we could start a different job. Now that time is down to five to ten minutes, max. It has helped us become more efficient and has improved our start times. It is truly the best purging agent I have worked with."
Eric , Process Engineer, Custom Molder Southwest
When customers come to us for help with material contamination, there are four common contributing factors:

1. Difficult Resins

Some resins are harder to remove than others. Every week we see the most changeover issues with PBT, PA, ABS, POM, PC, PVC, & PET.
Also, super-engineering resins can be a nightmare to cleanout. The cost-per-lb of these resins makes reducing scrap a top priority. Fortunately, a product like PX2 Grade makes these high-temperature changeovers painless.

2. Additives

Flame retardants, adhesives, carbon fiber, carbon black (used as an antistatic) and metallic conductive fibers all prove difficult to remove. They can burn easily or layer in the screw and barrel.

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3. Pigments

Certain colors are more difficult to purge than others. We hear the most complaints about removing blue and red pigments. Additionally, running from colors into clear parts often takes significant time. If you’re making clear parts, anything left behind from the previous run will show up in your next parts. A clean screw and barrel are a necessity.

4. Processing Temperatures

Any scenario where you change temperature ranges increases the likelihood of carbon contamination and black specks. Low temp resins burn easily. Also, any situation where you step from super-engineering resins down to commodity resins is problematic.

These factors lead to layering and are a ticking timebomb. Those layers will break off and end up contaminating other parts. Layers are most common on the flights, on the barrel wall, and in the nozzle area. Once layers form, contamination becomes more difficult to clean. Many maintenance teams rely on screw pulls and complete teardowns to solve the issue. You cannot afford extended downtime.

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Whenever you change materials, it’s critical that you purge your machines to remove previously run materials and protect against contamination in your next batch. Although this is an additional step, the cost of including it in your purging procedures pales in comparison to the wasted materials caused by rejects. Our team of Asaclean® Purging Experts has seen it all. If you’re struggling with any of these issues, we’re here for you with a solution.

65%

Asaclean® customers save an average of 65% when dealing with Material Contamination.

Most of what we do revolves around material costs. We can't waste materials during changeovers. Asaclean has been very successful for us so our purge program is a huge point of emphasis for our shifts.
Rodney Davenport , Vice President, CH3 Solutions, Georgia

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With over 200 years of processing experience and over 20 industry-leading Purging Compounds designed for your specific process, Asaclean® offers you the best possible combination of performance and service to get the most out of your process.

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