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Mica Bands with Thermocouple Holes

This afternoon a long time distributor and I finally came to a conclusion on a issue that has plagued us for the last 6 months. I have worked with the same guy for the last 8 years. We have replaced and taken care of almost anything you could want in a injection molding facility for many  of his customers. In that time everything has run very smoothly. One afternoon UPS brings in a box from this customer in it is a Mica band heater. It had five holes around the center of the barrel band 1″ to the center of each.  Perfectly round holes. It was 7.5 x 1.5 and had 72″ braided metal leads. No problem I thought I made the print got it signed off on. We built 12 of the Barrel Bands and off we go. five months later the customer calls again to order another 12 of the same heater again no problem I get them made.

This time how ever when he received them in he called to tell me the heater did not fit on the press any longer that we must have made them differently. Step one was to have them sent back and to look for a manufacturing error. We get the Band heaters back and they are just right. Made by the print to the Tee. While on the phone with the customer we decide to take the band back into the plant and try it out ourselves and sure enough they don’t fit. No body could figure out why this heater which was the same down to the letter did not fit the same press that it fit on less the 6 months before? Very upsetting for everyone.

Finally today I get the phone call. Someone in the plant had been taking our heaters and turning the 1″ thermocouple circular  holes and ova-ling them out to fit. The heaters never fit the customer signed off on the print at the beginning with out looking and then didn’t want to let anyone in his company know he made a mistake so he fixed it himself. He got very lucky he didn’t cause a serious problem. I am not sure the heaters ever worked. So the moral to the story is it is far easier to fix a problem at it’s beginning then 6 months later when everyone is confused and you have wasted twice as much money. BUT we at Complete Plastics Systems will go out of our way to help you any way we can until we figure out what the problem is and how to fix it even if it takes 6 months.