The mould workshop
Day 6 of the 6 day shift cycle.
Shift 8:00pm till 4:00am
Tiles made: none
Dry Tiles unstacked: none
The shift boss came to me at the end of the shift on day 4 and says, "Stewart, we want to train you in the mould workshop so that you can replace Stephan P when he goes on leave. Tomorrow, and the following night shift, and the 4 day shifts for next cycle, report to the mould workshop"
Cool. New skills. The various presses in the factory have metal moulds that are filed with plaster. The plaster can take the form of the various tile shapes. the advantage is that the moulds can be modified and it makes it easy to change details on the moulds, like date stamps.
When the moulds are worn out, or the press is going to make a different product the plaster has to be smashed out of the moulds with little hand-held pneumatic hammers.
Here's the daily routine:
First, I amble off to whichever accessory press has just finished, and I dismount the moulds, and cart them back to the workshop. I have the rest of the shift to smash these moulds and put away the empty mould frames.
I also have the rest of the shift to pour fresh UPPER moulds for the shift that will follow us, and fresh LOWER moulds for the shift that follows them.
It is a team of two in the mould workshop. I handle the moulds for the accessory presses - the DTP, the STP, the Mulder and the Bongioanni.
The other guy, also a Stephen, handles the moulds for the tile press in factory three. This press takes six moulds, ie: it presses six tiles at a time, and so has six upper moulds and six lower moulds. The press operators change the moulds one by one, so there is a rolling change of moulds. When thay have a trolly full of old moulds - 12 or 14 of them, they trundle it into the workshop. I then stop whatever I'm doing and the two of us work like maniacs smashing the moulds and repouring them. When they are all done we wheel them back to the press and life calms down for a bit.
I'll post more info over the next few days about the noise, the dust, the stupid new computersed plaster mixer and the other joys of the mould workshop.
On a promising note, I have a meeting tomorrow at 2:00pm with the factory boss. I suspect and hope it is to sign my CDI - permanant contract.