Rick Finnie, president of M.R. Mold & Engineering Corp., said he and his staff sometimes feel like the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes and his sidekick Watson trying to find the cause of molding defects.
Such was the case of a high-cavitation mold built by the Brea, Calif.-based mold maker in 2015 for the Garden Grove, Calif., facility of Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics.
M.R. Mold says the mold had been running successfully with normal maintenance and repairs, but became “symptomatic." Saint-Gobain’s attempts to resolve the problems weren’t working so the mold was sent back to the mold maker for dismantling and analysis.
Several issues were found and corrected but others persisted during trials of the mold. M.R. Mold then took the mold apart, plate by plate, inspecting every detail. The company identified the problem, made the fix and sent the mold back to Saint-Gobain accompanied by an M.R. Mold employee.
“Saint-Gobain had exhausted all possibilities on their side,” Finnie said in a news release. “Evidence pointed to the mold. You have to pour over the evidence also known as molded parts. We had to put the facts together, then start testing and experimenting. With a high temperature resin, plus a mold with cartridge heaters, hot oil and a hot runner manifold, we spent a lot of time using a pyrometer.”
After four weeks, Saint-Gobain was running the mold and making good parts, according to Jason Nguyen, a process engineer.
“This four-cavity tool has caused a lot of grief recently, but thanks to the entire two company’s teams dedication and efforts, it has finally started earning it’s keep again,” Saint-Gobain Principal Engineer Mike McCabe said.