West Coast Blow Molder Keeps Mold Cooling Channels Clean Using Eco-Pro 360
Western Case Inc. Uses Mold Cleaning System from iD Additives for Preventative Maintenance, Continuous Improvement
Western Case Inc. of Riverside, California is a leading custom blow molder of carrying cases as well as large industrial parts including spa steps, traffic delineators, automotive products and more. The company has won numerous awards for its blow molded products and has doubled its number of manufacturing lines over the past several years.
With 12 blow molding machines and over 150 molds in-house, Western Case employs a strict lean manufacturing protocol and runs 24 hours a day, 5 days a week. They perform a lot of small runs, with 5,000 parts being typical before needing to shut down a machine and change out the molds. They need to perform as many as 10 mold changes per week, a process that can take anywhere from 2-10 hours per mold change.
“Our workflow audits showed that the bulk of our labor was being spent on mold changes and maintenance,” said Jennifer Clark, Operations Manager at Western Case. “As part of our continuous improvement, we put a new preventative maintenance (PM) program in place to keep our molds properly maintained and ready to run.”
One major issue in maintaining the molds was that the cooling channels were frequently getting clogged with limescale and rust, due in part to the hard water used at the plant. Having already worked with iD Additives foaming agents and purge products, Western Case reached out to learn more about iD’s new Eco-Pro 360 mold cleaning products.
Bryan Whitaker, iD’s Technical Manager, shipped an Eco-Pro unit to Western Case and traveled to Riverside to run a trial. It didn’t take long to see great results.“We hooked up the Eco-Pro to clean out the cooling lines on one of their molds, and when they saw how fast and effective it was, they bought the unit,” he said.
Today, Western Case uses the Eco-Pro as part of their regular PM program. While 12 machines are running on the shop floor, all 150 idle molds are serviced on a schedule that includes cooling channel clean-outs with Eco-Pro.“Eco-Pro is now an important part of our PM,” said Clark.“We know when the time comes to switch molds on a machine, the mold coming in from the shop floor is cleaned out, serviced and ready to run. Eco-Pro is easy to use and has already helped us reduce downtime and save money.”