As a vital component of any plastic injection molding machine, a hydraulic system may constantly be running while remaining consistent; however, these heavy, potentially dangerous systems create a high risk for operators if failure or misuse occurs. Unfortunately, even with precautions, accidents can still happen that affect both the operator and the machine.
For the best support possible, hydraulic press machines should be fitted with a failsafe locking system if they are not already available. Creating a safe hydraulic press system and keeping operators informed and engaged with the safety processes is critical for success. To help owners or operators better utilize this essential piece of equipment safely, here are some tips to keep in mind when operating a hydraulic press.
Create a Maintenance Schedule
Limiting failure before it happens and, coincidentally, avoiding injury is easily achieved through a regular preventative maintenance schedule. Since a hydraulic press is often under extreme pressure and high temperatures, the stress placed upon it will require parts and fluid replacement at regular intervals. During maintenance periods, the entire system should be checked and cleaned and any components that need to be replaced should be done so before used again.
Improve Training Processes
Every worker who uses a hydraulic press during the injection molding process should have the appropriate training level and be knowledgeable about each component of the hydraulic system. Hydraulic press operation is a specialized job and requires a high level of experience and skill to maintain the highest safety level. Any untrained or undertrained operators are more at-risk than highly-trained users for injury or other potential problems during everyday use.
Encourage Daily Inspections
For the absolute highest safety level, owners and operators should check their hydraulic systems daily for any signs of wear that could indicate a problem. In addition to the hydraulic itself, any hoses or seals should also be checked for damage or degradation, and all cracks and loose hoses should be adjusted. During operation, owners and operators may want to inspect the system for strange noises or excessive amounts of vibration that could signify a problem.
Focus on Cleanliness
While it is crucial to keep hydraulics lubricated, it is also important to ensure the machine’s area remains clean for regular, safe operation. No matter what type of hydraulic press you may utilize, lubrication will often be needed to ensure a clean stroke while also reducing friction. Any oil, dirt, or clutter in the area can create dangerous conditions for operators that can lead to slipping or clothing or discarded materials being caught in the machine.
PFA, Inc. is sure to have the solutions manufacturers need to cut costs and save money on their next injection molding project. Any manufacturers that have questions about the products or services provided by PFA, Inc. and the unique ways they can improve the plastic injection molding process for medical, automotive, and other products should visit our product pages or contact us to learn how PFA, Inc. can help. We look forward to hearing from you!