No one sets out to produce bad parts and in spite of our experience and best efforts sometimes things go astray.
No matter what the problem in preform and bottle processing, we always hear a similar story…
Normally the conversation goes like this:
Tech 1 – “The product is not in spec. I have been working on getting it right for a long time.”
Tech 2 – “What have you tried?”
Tech 1 – “EVERYTHING”
Tech 2 – “So show me what you have done.”
Tech 1 – “Silence.”
So, the issue becomes what has been documented? Many times, nothing is – so the next technician starts to work on the issue and repeats many of the same actions (which did not work the first time).
The solution is, document what you have done!
- If the process changes are documented, then you can see what attempts were made to correct the problem and see what did no work.
- You can try new and different solutions. Hopefully get to the answer faster. Often reviewing what has been tried – you quickly see what was not tried and then decide what to do to fix the issue.
Process change documentation is critically important to the effectiveness and timeliness of troubleshooting. Without it, we will repeat many of the same techniques that were unsuccessful.
We are all human. It is difficult to remember all the changes we make while fixing a problem. It only takes a few extra seconds to write down the steps that were taken.
Try it and see, once it helps you get to the solution faster your troubleshooting skills will dramatically improve.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Director – Process Laboratory
Tom is a recognized expert in reheat-stretch blow molding technology. He has worked with every major resin supplier and has processed most materials available for stretch blow molding, including, PET, PEN, PP, Barex, PLA, ABS, and Styrene, in monolayer, multilayer, and copolymer combinations. Working many times with experimental materials, additives and variations, Tom uses methodical evaluation techniques to determine the effects of resin on process ability and container performance.