Solving problems on the tube mill Tube mill machine line
face a variety of challenges every day in their effort to produce high-quality tubing in a cost-effective and productive way.
This article examines some of the typical problems producers encounter, some common causes of these problems, and some ideas for how to solve these problems.
Lost Mill Time During Operation and Changeovers
Often, excessive downtime during normal operation or tooling/job changeover can be attributed to one or more of the following causes:
1. No written procedures for setup. Every mill should have written procedures for all operators to follow. The machine, tooling, and steel are fixed factors in the mill setup equation; the only variable is the human factor. This is why it is so important to have written procedures in place to control the process. Written procedures also provide a tool for troubleshooting when problems arise.
2. No setup chart. Tweaking the mill during setup loses valuable setup time. Operators must work the tooling the way it was designed. This means setting up to the parameters of a setup chart.
3. Lack of formal training. Formal training helps operators perform the procedures for carbon steel tube mill machine
and maintenance and ensures that all operators are on the same track.
4. Disregard of parameters from previous setup. If the Galvanized tube mill machine
has been set up according to the written procedures and setup chart, the operator can write down the numbers from the digital readout on the single-point adjustment (SPA) unit, allowing the next operator to set up where the first left off. Setting up to the numbers can save as much as 75 percent of total setup time, as long as all the other tips discussed in this article are followed.
5. Mill in poor condition. A poorly maintained mill costs valuable time and scrap during setup and operation. The mill must be dependable so that the operator is not chasing mechanical problems during normal operation and setup. A good maintenance program, as well as rebuilds or upgrades when necessary, is essential.
6. Mill in misalignment. Tube mill misalignment, poor mill condition, and inaccurate setup account for 95 percent of all problems in tube production. Most mills should be aligned at least once a year.
7. Tooling in poor condition. Operators must know how much life is left in the tooling before the next scheduled rework. Running the tooling until it cannot produce tubing anymore not only wastes valuable mill time, but produces scrap and affects delivery schedules. All tube production companies should have a tooling maintenance program in place.
Any of these causes of lost time on the mill can have varying degrees of value, depending on the severity of the conditions. The bottom line is, the more of these items that are in control, the less downtime on the mill.