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Rampf Formen Machine/ Mold diagnosis system.

In the last few years, block makers have had to adjust their operations to the demands of an increasingly sophisticated market. Shorter production runs, quicker mold changes, and an inventory of numerous shape and color offerings are challenging producers to keep adequate inventory levels.

All of these factors increase the challenge of quality mold maintenance. It's a task that many forget in the rush of production. But as many producers invest tens of thousands of dollars in new molds, managers face the task of finding ways to improve maintenance.

Fortunately, many manufacturers have recognized this challenge. They've developed tools, jigs, and semiautomatic devices that can streamline mold maintenance activities. Often many producers don't realize these tools exist. So we have provided descriptions of three interesting products designed to help. Circle the reader service numbers for more information.

Mold assembly table –simple design, real savings

With a relatively minor investment, block makers can assemble molds more efficiently and safely. The investment also helps prolong mold life and can aid in assembly line running. Columbia Machine's Mold Assembly Table is designed to specifically help speed mold assembly while providing a true surface that results in properly assembled molds and longer part life.

The Mold Assembly Table is a simple tool that will not only streamline concrete molding, but will save every concrete products plant real money. It comes with standard builtin channel rails for storing tools, a complete mold assembly kit, and a color mold assembly manual.

For more information, visit Columbia Machine' Web site at www.columbiamachine.com, telephone 800-628-4065.

On-line controls

Contained in a sturdy briefcase-sized travel case, this machine/ mold diagnosis system allows block makers to optimize machine operating conditions. The end result is extended mold life and a better-looking product.

The system from Rampf Formen contains sensors that are magnetically fastened to a blockmaking machine's frame. The approximately 2x4-inch units measure the machine's vibration. Wirelessly, using Blue-tooth data transfer technology, they transmit their vibration measurement signal to a nearby computer loaded with a special diagnostic software. Technicians can see graphic representations of vibration curves that allow quick analysis of balance and intensity.

For more information on the Machine/Mold diagnosis system, visit the manufacturer's Web site at www.rampf.com, telephone 301-791-6880.

Cleaner and oiler improves product quality

The Cleaner and Oiler unit from Columbia Machine assists block makers in improving product quality by automatically scraping concrete residue from pallets and then lightly oiling them in-line. The cleaning system leaves the pallet surface smooth and cleans and reduces the chance of new concrete sticking to the pallet. Producers that have used the system report fewer pallet jams in the production line, improved product quality, and better overall production throughput.

For more information, visit Columbia Machine's Web site at www.columbiamachine.com, telephone 800-628-4065.