In my 10 years working in service, I have seen plants varying in size, extruding several different products and using several different pieces of equipment throughout the process. Yet, the problem that I see most frequently is lack of maintenance and cleaning of the equipment which should be high on your priority list.
I am not only talking about the main processing equipment such as Extruders and Presses, but also the very important auxiliary equipment such as cleaners, de-stoners, hammer mills, conveyors, coolers, etc. These things are what make your extruders and presses perform optimally and keep your end product not only acceptable to your end user but exceptional.
Cleaners and de-stoners both have fans that push or pull air through them and shaker tables that vibrate the product and keep it moving. When the screens are plugged and the fan blades are dirty, air is not allowed through. Without proper air flow, they will not do their job properly and they become over-priced conveyors with a lot of extra moving parts. When this equipment does not do its job, it makes it harder and more intense for the extruder and the presses to do their jobs, causing extreme wear.
When that happens, you end up with a large wear parts bill, wondering why the parts are not wearing as they should and why the machines are not producing as they should. Another thing to remember is that no-one wants to work on filthy equipment covered in months and months of dust. Dirty machines mean the maintenance team more apt to overlook things, adding to the overall problem.
The solution to the problem is to clean the support equipment regularly so that your maintenance team wants to work on it. A couple of hours cleaning here and there (about once per month) will increase your bottom line in the long run by decreasing wear parts consumption and increasing productivity. This is just one of the many advantages of having an Insta-Pro Technician to your site regularly.
Many companies offer service packages, but at Insta-Pro International, we have developed the Service Plus Program with real world issues in mind. Please feel free to contact your sales person or one of our service team with questions about how we can help keep your operation more efficient, cleaner and safer.
Stay safe and take care!