Aquapurge – The 4th Emergency Service?

Aquapurge – the 4th emergency service

Sometimes in manufacturing, as in life, things just have to get so bad before intervention that extreme measures are called for.

Aquapurge has designed its leading purging compound product to meet the most desperate of situations. There’s a clear clue in the title – Barrel Blitz Universal (BBU). BBU is formulated to break down the most intractable of plastics processing problems and has been key to many of Aquapurge’s recent successes.

Colour change-overs – or the failure therein- can be the trigger.

In one recent customer case, essential white parts were just unable to be injection moulded, following a very short run on the same machine using another colour.

Customer engineering and management had been initially called in to deal with the situation following the emergency scrapping of 16,000 ‘white’ parts due to colour contamination. Despite all best efforts, the problem was not going away.

Many wasted kilos of polymer later Aquapurge got the call. At this stage, 48 hours production had already been lost.

With BBU now on site, the barrel of the injection moulding machine was cleared and the hopper loader. The first 5 minutes of processing of 5kg of BBU showed up much pink discoloration together with black specks. This normally indicates a build up of carbon on the screw and barrel of the machine. The second pass of 2kg of BBU succeeded in clearing all further carbon from the screw. The check-ring and end-cap were then checked and the BBU processed white at the end of the run.

Within 40 minutes normal moulding service had been restored. The approximate scrap resulting was 960 parts and some 6kg of polymers and the machine down time was just 13 minutes.

Although the emergency exercise was clearly a success, two days production and 16,000 parts still had been lost. Aquapurge Commercial Director Richard Brayne-Nicholls says that ‘the best way to use Aquapurge – and BBU – is to engage with us before getting in expensive trouble. A regular programme of purging makes complete sense in every way – technical and financial.’