Use your team’s experience to a ensure a high-quality process and product.
Brent Reynolds and Christa Schreckengost, C & J Industries
A wise CEO once said, a press is just a press. Anyone can buy one. If you have a hundred of them you can make more product than most. If you have an electric one you can make product faster. There’s nothing unique about owning and operating presses.
Recording and developing your professionals’ experience and knowledge into systemized quantifiable processes known as a mold acceptance procedure/plan (MAPP) can make a plastics injection molding operation stand out.
How a MAPP can help
A refined process ensures that there are fewer problems throughout the life of the project, which reduces the worry of down time once it is in production.
It’s important to recognize that every client’s project is unique. If your quality validation process can be customized, you’re more likely to meet each client’s needs while still following your own internal optimization procedures.
A MAPP will ensure highly efficient production, smooth project timelines and best quality outcomes with minimal scrap. Here’s a description of how such a process runs and how team members are involved in the timeline.
How it works
The mold validation consists of a series of events that will ultimately determine if the mold is production-capable. The estimating department kicks it off with sample requests, which give the production team all the necessary information for the project.
The first sample starts the MAPP process, which includes dry cycling and a stability run. During this initial sample, the process engineers test the mold first for functionality and then for performance. Any issues found during the dry cycle and stability run will then be discussed by the team, which consists of the tool shop and process, project and tooling engineers.
The second sample, process optimization, is devoted to optimizing the injection molding process. During this sample, the mold is taken to its extremes. The process engineers will also determine how fast the mold can run without visual defects.
While determining cycle time, mold temperatures and pack pressures all come into effect. Shots will then be pulled for the customer and the metrology department. The data will then be reviewed by the project engineer.
The third sample is a design of experiments (DOE). The DOE uses 3 parameters — pack pressure, front mold temperature and rear mold temperature. A 10-run DOE takes into account pack pressure and mold temperature extremes. Parts are pulled at each run and submitted to the metrology department for dimensional checks.
The fourth sample is the validation run, which uses the same process as the DOE sample. If the parameters were adjusted based on DOE results, then the new limits will be used. The tool will run for a pre-determined time to evaluate the overall process and functionality of the mold. This is used as the final step before the tool is released to production.
Brent Reynolds is a process engineer at C & J Industries, where he takes a lead role in establishing scientific molding processes. He has a B.S. in Plastics Engineering Technology from Penn State, as well as Master Molder I & II certifications from RJG.
Christa Schreckengost is marketing coordinator at C & J Industries. She is new to the plastic manufacturing industry but she’s learning quickly and has put her seven years of sales experience to use creating content and generating leads.
The opinions expressed in this blog post are the author’s only and do not necessarily reflect those of Medical Design and Outsourcing or its employees.