Sorry for a belated update. Unfortunately due to one thing and another it took a week and a half for the die to be fixed (a majority of that hold up being the fact that the die was sat in the die makers shop, finished, but with no one going to collect it). Anyway, the fixed die finally arrived at the extruders on a Thursday; I spoke to my contact in the office and was informed that the die presses are not run on Fridays, meaning it will be the Monday at the earliest before a new sample could be made. A sample was finally run on Tuesday night (6th) but all the employees knocked off before the result could be examined. On Wednesday, I spoke to my usual contact (in the office). I was then told that the sample was a lot better; however there was a little apprehension into the future of the die. Later in the day I called again to try and find out what the apprehension was, luckily I managed to speak to one of the head extruder engineers. This was brilliant as I could ask many questions that I usual contact couldn’t answer (i.e. the expected lifetime of a standard die, which turned out to be near enough unlimited and if it fail they would replace it free of charge.) The conversation then got to the reason why I phoned. He then proceeded to tell me that when the die was being 'putting through its paces' it was discovered that the repaired mandrel was yet again moving. Not quite as much as last time but enough to affect the final product. He said that at the time he was unsure how to proceed but would call me on Thursday. The phone call ended, and I was essentially unsure of what the path of action was going to be. On Thursday he proceeded to explain that the mandrel was moving. This was due to the fact that there was no web in the curved corner, so a lot of pressure was coming from the other webs (pressure from the hydraulic extruder) and with no support, the mandrel was forced in that direction. The die was not completely ruined, but it was certain that the mandrel would move further if extrusion continued. So to fix this reoccurring problem, a small design change was suggested. The idea was to have a small slit in the un-supported corner that would allow a supporting brace to be mounted on the mandrel. This would then leave the mandrel in a firm and solid place.
My two questions where; if I stick with the current die, (over the amount metres of extrusion I need (which isn’t that much in an industrial scheme of things), how much will the mandrel move? And if I opt for the new design, will the slit compromise the strength of the thread and bolt? (I was also very worried how long the new die would delay proceedings) The answers to these turned out to be as follows; within 100m the mandrel would be left unusable if left in its current state. And that the slit should not affect the strength of the thread/bolt drastically (the strength of the aluminium threat teeth would give before the slit would be the weakest link, other popular extrusions also have a similar proven construction)
I was pretty annoyed, as whatever happens, it is all adding on to the delay. The first week of delay I could manage with, but more is pretty gutting. I understand that you all want the MakerSlide as soon as possible, and trust me I am working as hard as I can to make that happen. When speaking to both of my contacts I mentioned that there had already being a significant delay and that a fast turnaround would be greatly appreciated as I am now going to go over my deadline. They acknowledged my concern and promised to speed things up as much as possible; as they appreciate I have now had two delays that are not my fault. So, I am trying my best to get things on track.
On the other hand; good news is that the wheels and eccentrics have arrived, and are soon to be packaged into the different accessory packs. Standard carriage plates have also being ordered, and will be available in the MakerSlide Europe store soon.