In a recent blog posting we discussed the consequences of molding with wet engineering and commodity resins. The best way of dealing with these consequences is to avoid them entirely. In the posting we discussed our procedures and test equipment for assuring that the dryness of the resin is in the correct range. The most important aspect of resin drying is, of course, the dryer and the maintenance of the dryer.
At Matrix Plastic Products, we have a dedicated dryer for each molding machine that runs hygroscopic engineering resins. The dryers are of two types:
1. Desiccant hot-air dryers
2. Compressed air dryers
Key to dryer effectiveness is maintenance. If the dryer goes down, the molding machine might as well be down. At Matrix, we take a multifaceted approach to dryer maintenance.
Visual Inspection: Dryers are visually inspected daily for hose condition, clamps, and kinks. Controls are scanned for dew point and temperatures in the proper range. Air flow cones are inspected as are the air flow filters.
Monthly detailed inspection: This includes the moving parts, testing desiccant condition, and confirming dew point meter readings on the dryer with a hand held dew point meter.
All monthly inspections and maintenance are documented on a preventive maintenance spreadsheet, developed here at Matrix Tooling/Matrix Plastic Products. This sheet covers PM for most common injection molding room equipment and is available for free at: http://www.plasticstoday.com on the maintenance forum and also on Bill Tobin’s WJT Associates website: http://wjtassociates.com/site/.
Since the sheet was developed here at Matrix, it will soon be available on our main website, again, for free. The PM sheet has been used all over the world and is a great tool for any molder to have in his or her kit. So avoid the consequences of molding with wet resin and maintain those dryers!
Senior Process Engineer (Older Molder)