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March 1, 2002

4 Min Read
Parting Shots: Cycle time

Ever wonder if your peers are having the same kind of day you are? In this first installment of Cycle Time, IMM asked Alex Semiletow of Cherry Electrical Products to document his week's activities. 


Alex Semiletow, molding manager, Cherry Electrical Products, Waukegan, IL

Monday, Jan. 28
• Went through 188 e-mails accumulated during my short vacation last week.
• Reviewed reasons for continuous alarms from our air-drying system.
• Boss sick for the second day in a row; he must be really feeling bad. This has never happened before, but the plant is still running.
• Unemployment hearing (never a happy thing).
• Press #2 becoming a priority; staffing not available.
• A molding supervisor requested a transfer to our processing department. This is going to trigger a series of organizational changes.
• Reviewed quotes of a major program; could not find any errors.
• Two toolmakers will not return soon from their leave of absence. We are severely understaffed. 

Tuesday, Jan. 29
• Noticed a dangerously stretched 480V grinder cable; asked an electrician to rewire it (done).
• Family tools strike again. Inventory unbalance forces us to run at 50 percent efficiency by blocking cavity for unwanted part.
• Three key support people and four operators out with the flu. Might as well have stayed in bed myself.
• Discussed procedures of recall from layoff with our human resources department.
• Negotiated four operators from sister division for three days to run press #2.
• Obtained authorization to recall a toolmaker to help staffing shortage.
• Attended a meeting to review the status of a mold that has been rejected by our customer four times, all for different reasons. This mold will become an issue soon.
• Planned reorganization to accommodate personnel job preference. 

Wednesday, Jan. 30
• Press #2 tool has limited capacity. Schedules must follow the demonstrated capacity of the tool.
• 800-lb dryer continually drifts off, and the temperature comes close to the upper limit. Had a meltdown in a similar unit a few months ago, and it wasn't pretty.
• Met with high school students interested in our industry; gave them a plant tour of the molding department. It's nice to see kids interested in injection molding.
• Met with an employee to present her with an opportunity for advancement triggered by the potential reorganization, to find out if she was ready for the challenge. 

Thursday, Jan. 31
• CEO asked me if the molding plant continued to run while I was on last week's vacation. I answered, "My team made me dispensable." Was that a good thing to say in this economy?
• E-mailed manager of our plant in Germany asking for his help in shortening his lead time on a project timeline for the production tools of press #2.
• In a team of key players from different disciplines, reviewed the design of nine molds for a new program. In the current state of the economy, this is that much more of a good thing.
• Electrician found the reason for the alarms in the air-drying unit (what a great guy!). Replacement switch will arrive tomorrow.
• Robot in an insert-molding job running in a vertical press is dropping metal inserts on the surface of the mold outside the vision system's range. The lack of mold protection feature in that press is causing damage to the mold when the press closes on the part.
• In our molding staff meeting, discussed the problems we are creating for ourselves by not following our own procedures. 

Friday, Feb. 1
• Reviewed actual delivery date of a project and communicated it to sales.
• A long-term test failed in the 11th hour and we are ready to run production. We will have people on Saturday and probably Sunday studying the results of the tests, running more samples, x-raying the parts to determine the corrective action required to fix the tool, and actually fixing the steel.
• Boss requested status of a new 17-mold program to understand at what level the approval process is stuck.
• Cancelled the temporary help scheduled for Monday; mold modifications on press #2 will take three days. The customer is breathing down our neck and the air is getting dense around this issue.
• The employee who was offered the opportunity for advancement took the challenge. We're now getting ready for reorganization. 

If you'd like to submit your week to Cycle Time, contact Amie Chitwood at (303) 321-2322 or [email protected]

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