The success of any molding program is determined at the mold design stages. It can be difficult…. if not impossible…. to add critical performance features to a finished mold… if they are not designed and built in….
Unfortunately, for many issues uncovered after a mold is built, this is true. Many iterations were not allowed for in an original design, but needed to be incorporated later to enhance mold performance. They are generally a compromise of what a team charged with resolving issues would do if they knew of the issue before the mold was built, so they would not be constricted by the original design.
As with anything requiring engineering expertise, there are many ways to compromise. Some compromises can be much better than others.
To mention a few trouble areas, high maintenance molds can generally consist of molds that:
- Have piloted shut-off areas incorporated in expensive components that experience high wear
- Have non-piloted shut-off areas of maximum flash callout that consistently are either on the edge of tolerance or are shipping product over spec
- Have stepped or straight parting lines that are hard to keep flash under control
- Need to be cleaned disproportionately often in certain areas to remove gas build-up
- Have straight lifters or cams/slides that experience high wear and subsequently will flash
- Have straight unscrewing cores that experience high rates of galling or flashing
- Have hot manifold-related issues, either with valve gates or hot tips
An advantage in having Len Graham Consulting in your corner is that most major mold builders really have little or no practical experience in the molding arena. Len has over 40 years experience in not only building new molds, but also being tooling supplier for in-house molders. He has been on the firing line exposed to the issues in the long term running of production molds and been charged with resolving them. It is this unique position where he has been able to witness first hand which mold features work well, and which ones do not. In addition, he has worked with repair and maintenance personnel to design, test, adopt, and most of all understand many iterations for specialized mold features. Dedicated mold builders will generally not have the advantage of this experience.
We would like to have the opportunity to help you and your company in working with you and your chosen moldmaker to assure needed features are appropriately applied to your high maintenance mold program on your behalf.