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Scottish Plastics and Rubber Association Scottish Plastics and Rubber Association

Moulding 4 Success

Andy Barnard , Managing Director, Solutions 4 Polymers Ltd delivering the SPRA meeting on ‘Moulding 4 Success’

At the April SPRA technical meeting, held at the Hamilton Campus of the University of West Scotland, Andy Barnard, Managing Director of Polymers 4 Solutions, an SPRA Corporate Member, started his talk with the question, “Have you ever come across these problems?” and added that by the end of the night all of the audience will say “Yes”.

The main underlying theme of the night was human error and how lack of understanding can completely alter the process. Misunderstanding in such issues as the way a tool is piped up; a pipe used for a loop can be too long and could affect the temperature of water re-entering the tool which can alter the dimensions of the part.

Poor mould piping can lead to moulding discrepancies
Andy also stated that under-drying and over-drying can occur because people have not been passed the information on the details of certain materials and their specifications.  These factors will change how the material melts and cools. Many other issues such as cleaning the platens on the machine, not just the tool faces, and allowing a mould tool soak time to allow it to reach working temperatures.

Andy stated that airline pilots use a check list system to ensure no steps have been missed.  Check lists would be very useful to injection moulders to work the same way and also water diagrams and  other information should be available at any time to make sure the job is set up the right way every time a tool runs.

At the end of the presentation Andy then asked the audience whether they had seen any of the problems in their companies, to which everyone agreed they had seen the same or similar problems, all down to the reasons he had brought up. The meeting ended with a question and answer session.

Report by Andrew Moran, Rosti UK, May 2014


Pim Gritter, Polaroid Eyewear, receiving his prize for the Formula 1 Simulator competition from Andy Barnard.
While delegates were assembling for the meeting, Kenny Cameron, Senior Lecturer responsible for both the Polymer Processing Centre and the Motorsport Engineering course, demonstrated a Formula 1 simulator.  Delegates then had a competition to post the fastest lap time.  The competition was won by Pim Gritter from Polaroid Eyewear, by an impressive margin of 10 seconds.  Scott Gibson, and apprentice from Rosti UK was runner up.

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