Summer is heating-up with many manufacturing sectors having some of their best quarters ever–think automotive and consumer goods. Due to pent-up consumer demand, our automotive OEM customers are telling us that they are at capacity, with three shifts constantly working on production. They are looking for new ways to innovate through R&D while still continuing cost-management plans boosting efficiencies in their production. Overall, the trends seem to indicate that our manufacturing partners expect continued growth over the next year!
Customer Challenge: Preventative Maintenance
It happens all the time. You get an indication that things aren’t running as well as they should be, but you have quotas and deadlines to meet and can’t take the time to find and fix the problem. Until a line goes down…and then there’s a mad scramble to fix the issue–and answer to management.
Regularly scheduled preventative maintenance is one way to avoid a line down situation and help your plant save valuable time and resources. At Fast Heat, we’ve found that summer is a good time of the year to accomplish this important task. Here’s a check list that can help get you started:
- Check the air filters.
- Give your controller a general cleaning. Remove any dust, debris, oil and other contaminants from the controller cabinet, output modules, cables, connectors and any other components that plug into the controller.
- Inspect modules for any signs of burnt traces, delamination (traces lifting off the board), and any other indicators of wear.
- Inspect the fuses and fuse clips. Make sure you have good contact points. A loose fuse clip can cause a hot spot.
- Now is a great time to replace any faulty heaters. Check the ohm values. If you don’t have the heater specifications readily available, the ohm values should be similar in value. The sprue heater may be different than the manifold and cavity heater.
- Always make sure you have plenty of spare parts on hand. A spare set of modules and cables on a shelf and “at-the-ready” is far more convenient than having to search for parts when a major problem arises during production.
- Over many years of service, modular controllers are known to have their temperature settings “drift” either up or down. Take the time to make sure everything is calibrated according to your needs.
If you don’t have the time or resources, consider scheduling a visit with a qualified technician for thorough preventative maintenance. This is a good time to also train new employees and provide a “refresher” for Maintenance Managers.
Fast Heat’s Customer Support Manager, Manny Diaz, has more than 20 years of experience troubleshooting our customers’ greatest challenges and pain points. He can help with yours, too. Call or email Manny today!
Made in the USA
The summer season brings us many occasions for which to feel patriotic: Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day.
With overseas production and shipping costs rising, manufacturers continue to revamp under-utilized plants and facilities, build new plants and add more workers and shifts to their payrolls—here at home. While the general public is also becoming more cognizant about where their food and goods originate and preferring home-grown goods over imports, the trends show that good old USA manufacturing is leading the way to building a stronger economy, rippling it’s way across many sectors.
These indicators have allowed manufacturing leaders to look more optimistically in their performance assessments for future company growth. For them, Made in the USA is paying dividends once again. Fast Heat has experienced this first hand as our hot runner temperature controllers, the Pulse and the Ion, are proudly Made in the USA!
What are some ways your company is making Made in the USA resonate with your customers? Share them with us and we’ll share them with our readers.
Preventative Maintenance: Keep Your Plant Running Strong
Factories sure have been humming this summer! With third shifts on and no regularly scheduled shut down this Q3, many of our manufacturing customers are meeting their production goals—but not necessarily their plant maintenance needs.
At Fast Heat, we know that preventative maintenance is critical to your plant’s productivity and your overall success. That’s why we want to extend a friendly reminder to take a bit of time and give your tooling and auxiliary equipment a thorough inspection before the Q4 upswing hits.
And as always, if you need technical service and support, cable and connectors, other parts or new controllers, we’re here to help. Check out our website or give us a call at 630.359.6300. And be sure to take advantage of our FREE SPARE MODULE OF YOUR CHOICE offer with any hot runner temperature controller purchase through 9/30/13.Sincerely, Tim Stojka CEO Fast Heat, Inc.