Efficient Troubleshooting Starts with Good Documentation

Richard Webster

Imagine the scenario, it’s Monday morning and QC reports a moulding defect to the Moulding Shop Manager, let’s say that a small sink mark is the problem.

So the Senior Technician on shift is asked to remedy the situation, after a couple of seconds he concludes that the process requires more material and moves the V-P transfer position accordingly – a simple enough change.  Parts are submitted to QC and an approval is granted.

Later that day the QC on evening shift reports a problem with the same part, this time there is a small amount of flash visible on the part.  The Senior Technician on shift reviews the current moulding process and sees nothing unusual, so he winds on a little bit more clamping force.  The flash disappears, parts are submitted back to QC and an approval is granted once again.

The following morning the Senior Technician is asked by QC to have a look at a small burn mark that is appearing on the same part that was exhibiting some sink yesterday.  Once again the process settings are reviewed and nothing appears to be out of the ordinary, so the injection speed is reduced slight in the final phase of fill.  Parts are checked by QC and once again an approval is granted.

That evening an issue with sink marks is reported once again but this time there is a new shift working, the Senior Technician addresses the problem by increasing the packing pressure and the parts are deemed acceptable for QC.

This situation continues with more and more changes being made to overcome the reported problems that are presented to the technicians, at no point in the process does anybody review the “documented process” – does this sound familiar?

Injection Moulding is not a Black Art, it is a process of Physics that is developed based on facts, and only facts – a Scientific Moulding Process.  Once a robust process has been developed it is vital that it is documented, recording the inputs AND the outputs.  Without these facts it is impossible for efficient troubleshooting to begin.

All too often we see this continual knob twiddling and button pressing to solve the moulding fault that is presented to technicians rather than understanding what has changed.  And without knowing what has changed it is not possible to understand the root cause of the problem.

So how can your technicians learn to develop a Scientific Moulding Process?

Our online Scientific SkillSetTM Series from Routsis Associates is a unique learning experience which combines detailed, step-by-step online instruction with practical hands-on worksheets. Each of the twenty-six course/worksheet combinations focuses on developing important processing-related skills that translate directly to optimising any moulding application.  And because the worksheets record the justifications for the process that has been developed, they also become part of the process documentation that should be used when troubleshooting.  The courses are now also available cross-platform and your technicians can access the data directly on their smartphones at the machine. 

Want to know more ? Call or email us for more details

01952 897071 or 07472 327166, ask for Richard Webster or sales@plastic-it.co.uk