Flash back to 1999 – 2000

Back in the days when we were just getting started at Pakiş Ambalaj, I would frequently have to drive in to the foam plant to help solve a problem on one or the other production lines. One day it would be the thermoforming line, and the next day would be the extrusion line… This routine continued as such until we finally learned what we were really doing. Too bad it took me 2 to 3 years to grasp it.

At that same time Andy, our eldest of the two, was also very new, and I would try to spend as much time possible with him. So, naturally he would end up riding with me to and from the foam plant. Now a days, at 10 years of age, he has his own life and his own schedule. Between school, robotics w/ the Lego Mindstorm, computer games, and time spent with his own friends, I have to ask him to pencil me in. Luckily, he was able to spare some time to participate in our old ritual…

Well, last night, after years of not having to drive in at night, I was called in for help. The issue was our brand new thermoformer. The process is exactly the same, but the control system has evolved over the years, and the manufacturer has changed, so we will need to get to know its new idiosyncrasies.

It turned out to be nothing, the alarm was stating the index tensioner was low, but everything looked normal at the air valve. Initially we thought it was just a matter of figuring out how to clear the alarm because the problem happened when the power fluctuated. When we followed the air line back to the lubricating unit we saw that the air was not reaching the unit. An easy fix… 🙂

The highlight of the trip was driving home with Andy, telling each other stories, planning windsurfing weekends,and the inevitable burbfest.  He won by far…

We also decided we would try to build a model thermoformer with Lego Mindstorms. We will need 2, one for the former and the other for the trim press. Each will use 3 motors. The former needs 2 motors for the platens, and one to pull the chains (indexing). The trim press will use 1 for the canopy, another to index the sheet down the treadle, and the third for the trim platen. Lets see how it works out, it should be fun to play around and figure out the programming…