Services for process optimization
Holistic optimization of the color change process
Due to our experience of more than 25 years in the field of cost reduction in the plastics processing industry, we can also offer engineering services in addition to cleaners.
In addition to the benefits from using our cleaners, further costs can be saved through process optimization:
- Faster material and color changes
- Shorter machine downtimes
- Lower material cleaner consumption
Cycle times in the injection molding process are rarely optimal. After the cycle time is determined during the sampling of the mold, attention is often paid to other characteristics such as quality, dimensional accuracy, appearance, …. The cycle time is a result of achieving the required characteristics and therefore no longer adapted. Often the given time pressure in production does not allow an optimization of the cycle time by maintaining all required characteristics.
The given diagram shows typical values of a cycle time reduction. In all areas of injection molding cycles, times can be saved by maintaining the same quality. We have been able to achieve a maximum cycle time reduction of up to 36% over the last 25 years. The average value of all cycle time reductions achieved to date is 19%.
One major project deserves special mention at this point. At an automotive supplier with approx. 100 injection molding machines, we saved a value of 750,000 € within half a year through cycle time optimization. Converted to machine capacities, 11 machines would have been freed up by the optimizations.
A large number of process parameters (temperatures, pressures, speeds, paths, …) map the injection molding process. They all contribute to the final production of a plastic article. The mutually influencing parameters form a complex matrix of adjustment possibilities. They all have an influence on the quality of the molded part and the economical production.
The process parameters are determined during sampling and are rarely optimized further afterwards. Process optimization guarantees a more stable manufacturing process, improved molded part quality and a more economical production. Manufacturing costs and scrap rates, for example, are reduced by optimization.
In addition to the machine parameters, the injection mold, the material and the human factor also influence the injection molding process. These factors can also be used as starting points for further optimization.
In addition to optimising the machine parameters, our process optimisation also includes the tooling technology. The analysis of the material, the evaluation of the training level and the training of the employees are also part of our overall optimization.
In plastics processing companies, many processes can be mapped using key figures. This makes them more transparent and they can be optimized. One important key figure is the OEE ratio. In many companies, it is around 60 after implementation. After analyzing availability, performance and quality and the subsequent optimization, we were able to increase this key figure to 87 on average. In some cases, even higher values have been achieved.
In addition to the overall equipment effectiveness (OEE ratio), there are several other key figures which will help reduce waste. Such as
- order tidiness and cleanliness
- health status
are parameters for further optimization. We have introduced a wide variety of key performance indicators in many companies, which are used successful to cut costs.
If setup processes are analyzed, the potential for optimization quickly becomes apparent. The person setting up the machine often has to cover long distances during the setup process, e.g. to obtain the necessary tools, cables, hoses, …
Such processes unnecessarily prolong the machine downtimes and thereby also the setup times. No manufacturer is reimbursed by its customers for the costs of setup times. For this reason, they must be kept as low as possible.
We were able to reduce setup times by a maximum of 42% by using trained in-house teams for set-up time optimization.
In plastics processing, there are many starting points for reducing costs. Humans, machine, tool, material, … there are many possible approaches to reduce costs. Here, as in the process optimization, everything must be analyzed to ensure cost-effective production in the end.
From our long experience we know the starting points to reduce costs such as manufacturing costs, maintenance costs, material costs, energy costs, personnel costs …. In the last 25 years, we have carried out cost reduction projects that have reduced costs by up to 38%. On average, we have achieved cost reductions of 21%.
Tool start up
Mold start up is one of the most important milestones in the manufacturing process. At this point the basis for stable and cost-effective production is created. It takes a systematic approach and knowledge to start up a mold optimally.
There must also be the time to systematically analyze and evaluate everything point by point. Furthermore, the right measures must be taken after the initial start up. The validation in the second run also requires the attention of specialists.
Over 100 tools we have put into operation successfully. A detailed start up report with all analyses, measures taken and validation results is prepared by us after a successful start up.
Due to executive turnover, some companies often rely on executives to fill the time gap until a new hire is available. These executives must be available practically overnight.
Because of our leadership experience in plastics processing companies, we are able to fill temporary leadership gaps. Our leadership experience of departments such as injection molding, extrusion, assembly, paint shop, tooling, maintenance, work preparation, … have been very helpful in such cases.
A new manager usually has a different approach to the issues in plastics processing. In addition to process optimization, we also introduced new structures and new remuneration concepts that contributed to cost optimization.