This morning, I received a three part question regarding machine maintenance. The first question will be addressed here…
I am now working at a plant where all the machines are all over ten years old and have not been well maintained. What is the best procedure for machine leveling?
The most common method is to place a level on the tie bars as well as across the tie bars to level each side of the machine using the adjustable feet. Many molders neglect to check both the top an bottom tie bars as well as the levelness across the tie bars. When doing this, it is worth while to purchase or rent a laser level specifically for tie bar leveling.
The most effectiveness methods is to use a rotating laser positioned and leveled on the floor. In this method, two sensors are placed on each of the two bottom tie bars to measure the levelness of each corner. In this case, the whole clamp area can be leveled with a high degree of accuracy. After the bottom tie bars are leveled, the top tie bars should be checked in the same manner. Since these systems tend to be expensive, many molders will rent the levels or hire an expert to come in for a couple days to help level the molding machines properly.
Since the machines are unlikely to be properly leveled, it is important to measure this once every three months for the first year to ensure the machines can maintain levelness and are not ‘walking’.