Speed, efficiency, and teamwork are all keys to
optimizing production, and more importantly, to
saving money. So why don't more molders take these
elements into account during mold changes?
According to data reflected in IMM's Benchmarking
Report from the first quarter of 1999, the overall
average mold change time among participating
molders is 127.40 minutes (measured from when the
last good part came out of the first mold to when
the first good part leaves the new mold).
Out of the 46 molders currently participating in
the study, only nine have average mold change
times less than 60 minutes. And, only two of these
molders report mold change times less than 30
minutes. One, a captive molder with 23 presses
ranging from 50 to 500 tons, reports an average
time of 5.70 minutes. The other, a custom molder
with 46 presses that range from 35 to 1650 tons,
reports an average time of 15.60 minutes.
As these two cases suggest, it is possible for
molders to reach that elusive brass ring-the
10-minute mold change. According to Husky's
Michael Gould, all it takes is a three-step,
team-oriented process to help save time and money
before and during machine shutdown.
First, it's important to be prepared. The new mold
and secondary equipment should be staged next to
the machine to be changed. Also, any tools that
will be required for the mold change should be
gathered. If necessary, the color feeder should be
prepared and the mold should be preheated, prior
to machine shutdown.
At that point, three teams should work
concurrently to change the mold, change resin
and/or colorant, and change downstream secondary
equipment. Working together, these teams should be
able to complete each of these stages within 10
Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd.
Phone: (905) 951-5000
Fax: (905) 857-4690