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Crater problem at a furniture factory.

Have you ever faced crater problem? Crater problem is a very complicated; it is caused by the chemical contamination in the finishing, but the biggest difficulty of this issue is to find the source of the contaminant. Here is a story about a crater problem at a furniture factory.
There was a furniture manufacturer in Semarang. He was a furniture factory with a pretty good performance. He produced high-end furniture products to USA market. He shipped averagely 24 containers of furniture products. The factory was quite clean and organized.. The production process was run from sawn timber to the final finishing and rubbing with a good groove process. Two times a day the factory was cleaned, the floor was cleaned up with dust cleaner.  Indeed it was we a quite clean and well perform furniture factory. The finishing process was also run by a sequential process and with a good flow. The finishing process were: stain, wash coat, glaze, 1st  sealer, 2nd glaze, 2nd sealer,1st top coat, pad stain and 2nd top coat. There were 6 spray booths; they were enough to do the finishing process from the stain application to the final top coat.
The factory already run for several years when suddenly one day, there crater problem emerged in the finishing process. There was crater everywhere in every finishing process., wash coat, sealer, top coat and even in the stain. The crater was so bad, appear everywhere, in large amount in the whole finish surface. This became big issues and everybody tried solved this problem. He also asked to his finishing supplier to help overcame the problem. The finishing expert in the factory and the technical ad visor from the finishing company worked together to solve this problem. The finishing expert in the factory was already experienced in finishing for more than 15 years. While the finishing supplier was a big reputable chemical company with more than 30 years experienced as wood finishing supplier.  They worked together to solve this problem.
The first action was the addition of anti crater additive to the every lacquer and sealer used, while they looked for the main causes of the problem. This additive gave a little help, but because the crater was so severe, it was not enough to eliminate crater. Until the second they still worked to find the cause of this issue. But suddenly on the third day the crater was gone. The no crater arisen in the finishing.
On the day of the fourth and fifth and sixth finishing process run normally without any problems. Until then, a week after the first crater appeared, the crater arose again as worst as the first attacked. There were crater everywhere. The second problem was also appeared for 2 days, and then gone. The crater only came every Fridays and Saturdays.
There were many things done to overcome this problem, such as the crater additive, clean the products, clean the room, etc. They also tried to close the finishing room, but it still not completely eliminated the problem.
Until then after about a month struggled, the problem was stop. There no more craters found, even on the Friday or Saturday the day when the problem usually came.  Then until now it's been over 5 years the factory runs his production without any crater.
This case is a very interesting thing. The peoples analyze that the crater might be come from the environment.  There was something in the surrounding that spread chemical contaminant and came in to the finishing room.
Until the problem was gone; the peoples in there still had not found the best solution for that problem. They were still tried to find the best way to solve the problem, and the problem was stopped itself. 
In my opinion, there was hand of God work in this case.  We may claim to be the expert with our experience and knowledge but we should not forget to the God. In every situation we need  to rely all the result to the God. The problems in finishing may can be considered such as the other life problem, it can be solved easily if God please to help us.

4 comments for "Crater problem at a furniture factory."

  1. Gan, need to find the total solution on crater problem. Is there also man, method, environment, material and machine affected to crater?

  2. wisno furniture finishingJanuary 16, 2011 at 4:43 AM

    The fact is, nobody explored that case to get the exact problem causes. The environment factor is suspected as the causes of this problems. There may be some operation in that area that spread the chemical contaminant to the air, and some of them were fallen to the finishing room.
    But even though we know the problem causes, it still very difficult to solve it. How to make a clean finishing room which is sterilize from the outside air?
    The main things is there some problems are stopped them self, when we still look for the way to solve it.
    Sometime in our life we find problems that is stopped without we never know what it is, and why it is happened.

  3. Looks like it still a black box.. We knew anything is possible. What's the preventive actions for this case?

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