Conduct your most basic maintenance check before and after every cycle. This will help to keep parts to spec and ensure that no debris or other foreign matter can damage the mould. The below steps should comprise your standard, every-cycle process.
Clean mould cavities with a gentle solvent. Material residue within the cavity can affect the shape and structural integrity of your parts. A simple cleaning goes a long way.
Use compressed air to blow out dust, debris and water. Especially in more complex moulds, those particles can be more difficult to reach. Don’t overlook them, however: They can affect the part and cause greater damage during the production cycle.
Be sure that the entire mould is completely dry before storage. We mentioned water above, but it bears repeating, because water is the worst enemy of metal moulds. There’s one simple reason: Rust. A rusty mould is much more likely to fail or be damaged, and will produce a much higher proportion of rejected pieces. Caught early, mould can be cleaned and removed — though the best solution is simple prevention.
Check runners, sprues and all other areas of the mould. Just a reminder: The mould cavity isn’t the only area that needs to be inspected as part of your maintenance. Debris and water can cause big problems in other parts of the mould, as well. Be sure to inspect, clean and blow out those areas, too.
Inspect mould hardware and connectors. This step is an overall look at the major components of the mould, like bolts, plates and other pieces. Check them for wear, fit, tightness and other standard maintenance issues.
Note the date and extent of your mould maintenance steps. This step ensures that no matter who is conducting the maintenance, he or she knows the details (and any potential issues) from the last process. It’s also a great way to keep you and your employees accountable for regular maintenance.