Injection Molding

There are a lot of sectors out there doing stuff that can be called “complex” and “diverse”. But not many can boast that both in machines and mats. You guys work with all kinds of materials like plastic, silicone, and rubber – while using all kinds, makes, and ages of machinery.

And we haven’t even mentioned how much stuff you make, 24 pieces or more per cycle is nothing to scoff at. Now, this is really nice and all but all those diverse materials and high amounts produced can lead to errors and micro stops. This is kind of a big deal when you paid so much for the machinery, and this is where we came in. We provided access to monitoring data for speed/speed loss measurements for micro stops, and a complete affordable system suite that could be used for all the different types and makes of machines.

Proper monitoring was very well received by the shops we set up at as our data digging found some interesting tidbits that helped increase OEE significantly. Like the one time where after some trial and error they saw the error of not cleaning machinery more regularly.

Small thing after you know about it, kind of huge when you find how much it cost you that far.
Way we saw, the sector has already started a bit on Industry 4.0 so it is pretty usual to have good engineers on hand who can set up our own stuff if left alone for a minute.

Thankfully we met some of these really cool people in Injection Molding and immediately started to R&D some sector-specific features with them, like developing ways to follow waste materials, or target and product code management.

CASE STUDY

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We recognized significant speed losses in the form of micro stops and fluctuating cycle times

#OEE #cycletime #microstops #speedloss

A bigshot publicly listed multinational company asked us to help them overcome some challenging production hurdles, which came as a welcome surprise. Sadly they have refrained from letting us name them due to long-standing company policy, but we still wanted to talk about our experience. Nameless or not. 
These guys have operations in Europe, Asia, and North America as well, churning out massive amounts of products molded from all kinds of polymers like plastic silicone and TPE. They often supply global companies, and their 50k/week/machine isn’t a joke either.

ISSUE

One of their quality system engineers – an amazing analytically minded fellow – saw our sensors working at another setup and dropped us a call, so in we went asking about their needs and wants. They wanted us to digitize their semi-automatic, offline machinery to basically reduce paperwork for the operators and potentially catch some problems that they might not otherwise. See, the OEE targets were not met, and the reasons were vague, so a little proactivity was in order. They wanted an easily integrated way of fast and proper data collection for a low-level investment.

Soulution

After we let everything run for a while and asked back about their experience, it turned out we did reduce paperwork by about 50%. But that wasn’t all by a long shot. When checking machine availability reports, they “recognized significant speed losses in the form of micro stops and fluctuating cycle times (and thus in pcs produced) on certain machines.” So they obviously got curious about the root causes. Using the data provided by our system, they could make a detailed analysis on how the manual and technical parts of the cycle time were changing and found something interesting. Turns out, “a recurring increase in the manual part was caused by improper machine parameter settings, resulted in micro stops for removing parts with airflow.” So now that they identified the problem, they can react to these changes in short order by monitoring machine speed. In the end the OEE increased, we’ve got a new insight for our data collection and gained a new friend to boot.

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