We are now offering PLASTIC MEDIA BLASTING to address the need of the molding industry. As you know, the molds used to produce molded parts develop a buildup of residue from mold releases, lubricating agents, burnt polymers and cooling liquids. This residue needs to be cleaned periodically to maintain cosmetic and dimensional quality. If you are like most molders or mold builders, you have probably accomplished this job using hard-to-dispose-of chemicals and hand or mechanical scrubbing by available employees. This method presents health hazards, is environmentally unsafe, and true costs vary based on the hourly rate of the employees selected for the task. If low cost unskilled labor is not available, a highly compensated machine operator or machinist is generally used - which could effectively double or triple the cost of these necessary cleaning operations.

The major disadvantage of hand cleaning is that it is very time consuming and labor intensive. Even an experienced mold technician will spend a considerable amount of time cleaning each cavity. He or she must be sure to reach all areas where residue can foul the mold and be careful to avoid damaging critical tolerances. Often the labor cost of the experienced technician makes it difficult to spend adequate time on cleaning molds.

  When cleaning molds with chemicals, the time and labor involved can be deceiving. The actual time a mold must soak in chemical systems ranges from as little as 30 minutes up to 8 hours or more. For molds that are run continuously, this lost time is unacceptable. Another consideration of chemical cleaning is that after a mold has soaked for considerable time, additional hand cleaning or blasting is often required.

SIBLEY ENGINEERING is now providing a fast, safe, professional mold cleaning service at a known and consistent cost using plastic media blasting. This allows you, the molder or mold builder, to anticipate your true mold maintenance cost and build it into your quoting process.

  Plastic has been used as a dry blast media since it was first applied to paint stripping in the early 1980's. Unlike sand blasting, plastic media blasting does not damage the part being stripped. This newer process is replacing the traditional methods of hand cleaning, chemical cleaning and blasting with glass bead, which are slower, more hazardous and damaging to molds. The major advantage when considering plastic media blasting is its ability to clean quickly with no mold wear. Since molds must be cleaned on a regular basis, it is important to get the mold cleaned quickly without damage to parting lines or surface finish.

  Please contact SIBLEY ENGINEERING to discuss your mold cleaning requirements at 507.263.5888, fax us at 507.645.8990, or select the "Request Quote" link below. We will provide effective mold cleaning at an economical cost, relieving you of health hazards and environmental concerns. We are equipped and insured to safely transport and handle your tools.

  We also provide pickup and delivery at a reasonable price.

  As you can see above, when an injection process is used to form plastic parts, the screw that injects the liquid plastic into the mold can become quite caked with plastic residue. This can often result in poorly formed parts (due to inconsistent process flow) and create many problems for the injection mold operator and his/her company.

  Often, it becomes necessary to shut down the process and clean the mold. Since the cleaning process is often the use of caustic chemicals and manual labor, well paid injection mold operators are often utilized in this cleaning. This raises the overhead costs of the company due to both the downtime and expensive cleaning, not to mention the cost and liabilities of disposing of the hazardous chemicals that are often used in the process.

   In addition to the costs and inconveniences noted above, one also has to consider the wear produced in the mold as its parts become coated with residue. This can result not only in part wear, but may also permanently damage the mold. This becomes an even more expensive at this point. The rebuilding, or even complete reconstruction, of a mold is not an economical process by any means.

  Above you see the injection screw after we have used Plastic Media Blasting to clean it. In a short period of time, without caustic and hazardous cleaners, or overly abrasive methods, this injection screw is once again ready to produce parts for you. You operator(s) can be utilized to run other machines while the part is out being cleaned - raising your productivity level and adding to the positive side of your bottom line.

   Should you wish to utilize our process, arrangements can be made for regular, scheduled pickup & delivery of you molds and their parts. This can result in an orderly and extremely productive experience/process for you company. Through focused production planning, and a clearly defined arrangement with us, your productivity need not suffer any lost time whatsoever. Imagine the level of productivity you can achieve with a process like this in place.

  Mating parts in the plastics/rubber injection molding process require close tolerances and critical alignment to avoid poorly formed parts, material loss, excessive part wear, or breakdown. The longer a mold is used, the greater the chance of process failure or breakdown. Depending on your process cycles - either multiple shutdowns, or a high volume of parts produced - the rate at which your molds acquire enough residue to become a hazard to your production cycle increases. A regular schedule of cleaning, either based on a time cycle or parts formed, will result in production and profit increases.

   In addition, when your product runs are short and your molds are used for a brief period of time and then put back "on the shelf", moisture and other elements can build up on your parts, causing unnecessary problems for you, your equipment and your process. A reasonable approach would be to plan to have them sent out to be cleaned rather than just storing them until their next use. This can reduce the amount of storage space you may need (depending on your cycles and quantity of molds) and adding another positive factor to your financial picture.

   This picture represents how you want your injection molding parts to look - clean and ready to produce parts. This nozzle has been freed of any corrosion, material residue, and is again an income producing part of your operation. It can be taken and put on your machine without the operator fighting to align it properly, or causing any unnecessary delays to get it aligned just right.

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