SCHEMA Brand

On phrases like: “Get the mold for the 43!” And Why do you need a Mold Plan in your Plastic Injection Plant?

Engineers transferring a Mold to a Machine using a mold-crane

On the Plant floor, only one mold is handled. There are several models available to satisfy the requests of all customers. Despite having made an excellent purchase decision when acquiring the Molds, a greater effort is still needed to be able to exploit the maximum return on the investment made. Not having the required Mold available to deliver the product to customers is one of the most frequent situations in plastic injection molding companies. This is where a large part of the potential performance of the Mold can be extracted or lost.

“Despite having made an excellent purchase decision when acquiring the Molds, a greater effort is still needed to exploit the maximum return on the investment made.”
The reasons for a Mold not being available are several. For example, one of the most common reasons is that the Mold is receiving maintenance by the technical team. It may also be due to a problem presented in the Mold when mounting it in the Injector. Another reason is that the Mold is stored, far from the Injector, and only transported with the crane or hoist, and having it on time, ready at the foot of the Injector can take several minutes or hours depending on the internal processes required for such operation. Not only that, but there are also many occasions when the Mold is transferred, but it is discharged into the wrong injector, or simply the Mold is the wrong one. Whatever the reason why the Mold is not available, it is an attack against the continuity, not only of production but also of the Company’s Operations.

“Whatever the reason why the Mold is not available, it is an attack against the continuity, not only of the Production but of the Company’s Operations.”
Not being able to have the required Mold in the exact time it is required generates delays in the completion of production, in the delivery of the finished product to the warehouse, in the exit of the product to be delivered to the customer; which causes delays in purchases “on delivery”, and if a chain of these events occurs, it has an impact on the speed of the company’s Cash flow, causing a negative impact on the Financial Statements.

The fact that a Mold is not available when required, is a situation that can be avoided by implementing appropriate methodologies. Among the methodologies that can be implemented are: standardizing maintenance processes and frequencies, the discipline of generating an a priori schedule of maintenance, implementing effective communication channels between the Production Planning area and the Engineering area of Molding and Maintenance, define the calendars for the use of Molds so that everyone in the Company can know when they will be required.

How can we implement these methodologies in the Plant?
The first thing would be to review and analyze the status of the current Production Planning process. Some of the variables that can be reviewed are:

Is the name or coding of each Mold defined?
Are the names of Mold known to all areas of production and maintenance?
Are the names of Molds used in the official document of the Production Plan?
before that. Is there an official document that represents the Production Plan?
Is the production plan format standardized?
Are the start and end dates defined for each production batch?
Are the start and end dates of the installation of each Mold on each Machine defined?
Are the expected standard durations for the installation of each Mold on each Machine defined?
Is there a way to detect a Mold-Machine incompatibility just by looking at the Production Plan?
Is the Production Plan available and in view of all those involved in Production and Maintenance?

In order to answer affirmatively to all the previous questions, it is necessary to have a detailed Production Plan, which contains both the programmed production quantities and the assembly times for each Mold. All this must be reflected in a calendar or visualization of the Plan so that anyone can consult it and anticipate its use and, therefore, the disposition of the Molds several hours or days in advance. Having the Production Plan will not only help the organization of production activities but also quickly detect potential problems, bottlenecks, and delays.

“All this must be reflected in a calendar or visualization of the Plan so that anyone can consult it.”
If the Plant is currently handling a Production Plan in Excel, which only contemplates the detail of the quantities programmed per Piece, and that when a Mold is required, they request it: “Bring the mold of 43!” then, in short, there are great opportunities for improvement within the coordination of activities and the standardization of the names of the production elements. Correcting these small great details makes the difference between intermittent production and production that runs smoothly and continuously.

“Get the mold for the 43!”
It is worth mentioning that at Logykopt we have developed software, especially for the injection molding industry. We have loaded it with extremely useful tools for Production Planning, Execution, and Control. And yes, the Production Planning functionalities include all the detail that is needed to guarantee continuous production, which is also of high efficiency and high quality.

If you want to have more information about our SCHEMA® software, and also know more about its core technology KairosJasmine®, I invite you to schedule a demonstration session with one of our Experts.

Alejandro Ibarra, CEO