Tuesday, June 6, 2017

From bad to worse and back again!

Alright.  Well things went from really bad to significantly worse.

Multiple items are getting scarce and there is no option to make more things. The heating problem has been repaired, with only one or 2 minor injuries. If you ever take 220 volts through a finger, be assured it is not fatal and feelings return to your extremities in as little as 2 days.

But the hydraulic system has utterly failed. Moments after the heating system got to working again. It seems to be a conspiracy.

This is going to take a major effort and it is very dirty, greasy work done by crawling about under the press.

So, expect some major delays unless a miracle happens. I will keep reducing the inventories as needed, until everything is gone.

I can not complain, the little machine was headed for the scrap pile and it has found a second life in my workshop. It has dutifully cranked out thousands and thousands of parts.

I guess it just wanted some downtime.

Ok, just enjoy the summer and hang in there.


EDIT:  The machine is back, and better than ever! I guess a miracle did happen, because for no reason I can figure out the machine is now pumping away. The new heater wiring is fantastic. Previously the machine had been wired with heaters in sequence and only using one of the 3 available phases. I wired everything in parallel so each heater is getting a full blast of power, and am using 2 phases.  (using all 3 would result in voltage jumping to 380)  The warm up time went from 45 minutes to 10. And the machine stays locked on the temp with no fading. You can almost hear the plastic pellets scream in agony as they are cast in to the fiery chasm. The machine shows no mercy as they are brutally crushed in to parts.

  The hydraulics just started working on its own. I unplugged a connector and plugged it back in, which had been done at least 3 times before, and it sprang to life. So all connectors got a good spray with contact cleaner and just like that things are looking much better.  I will be making parts every morning for a week or so but that should get things caught up.

  Regarding accidents; this is no laughing matter and I advise anyone attempting to do this to try not to be as stupid as me. The incident mentioned above happened during testing. Power was turned off, and the hot wire was disconnected and cut, so the shielding was covering the wire with only a tiny circle of metal exposed. This wire was placed in an out of the way spot and secured while I turned the power on to run a voltage test and figure out what was what.  Well I dropped the test lead and without thinking reached to grab it as it fell. This caused my finger to brush the very wire that had been moved out of the way. And it took a hit that was a bit surprising.  A real tough guy would not even need a fancy voltage meter.  He would simply grab each wire and determine the voltage by the amount of pain he felt, after wetting his fingers on his tobacco juice.  Those types of guys are getting scarce nowadays.

  So while it is fun to tinker around with discarded industrial machines, try to respect the fact that things can get serious in a second.  I have made a major effort to install safety guards and make the shop a very safe place to tinker. It seems that during maintenance things are most likely to go wrong. And this was a really freak incident that involved involuntary reaction to a falling object.



 

4 comments:

  1. After some troubleshooting it appears to be the pressure relief/mold protect valve. It failed before with similar symptoms. Once a new one is found it is actually an easy fix. Just hoping that is the problem and not something else. So perhaps things are not as bad as it seemed.

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  2. Have you ever attempted to contact Arburg?

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