Sponsored By

Just as teams break down game film to see how they can improve their own performance, injection molding machinery supplier Arburg has started a systematic process of filming its workers on the job and then reviewing the tape to see where improvements can be made.

PlasticsToday Staff

February 9, 2012

2 Min Read
To build machines better, Arburg reviews the film

Just as teams break down game film to see how they can improve their own performance, injection molding machinery supplier Arburg has started a systematic process of filming its workers on the job and then reviewing the tape to see where improvements can be made.

The Lossburg, Germany based company began the practice in 2010, with selected groups within its production group receiving preliminary basic training in the use of video analysis. On a selected day, the video was first shot with external assistance and subsequently subjected to "systematic evaluation", according to Arburg.

ARBURG0000032086-01VideoanalyseRuesten.jpg

Arburg

Shooting the process on location: While Emanuel Armbruster's actions (center) are filmed during work, Torsten Schmid (left), and Reiner Huss explain the processes.

Workshops on set-up time optimization were first held in production before being extended to other sectors within Arburg's assembly operation. Between five and six employees are invited to take part in each session, including at least two operators, managers, and production planners. The two operators then partner on the actual compilation of the analysis video, with one filming what the other is doing.

This material then forms the basis for analysis and subsequent development of appropriate activities, Arburg noted in a release. "It is interesting to note that the agreed steps are more likely to be put into practice when video analysis is used than without this audiovisual aid," the company release stated. "When the films are screened, many otherwise unnoticed things become apparent."

Arburg noted that video recording of all the processes is particularly important for the introduction of SMED or "Single Minute Exchange of Die", which aims cut down die change times to single-digits. The objective is to reduce production machine or production line set-up times. Arburg notes that if the machines can be converted for a different production task without interrupting the ongoing manufacturing process, that also has an effect on stocking level requirements, for example. "SMED is only implemented to perfection when a one-piece flow can be realized without the need for interventions in running production," Arburg noted.

Once videos have been shot, Arburg said the set-up operations are analyzed during a discussion between the operators and their line manager. Torsten Schmid, part of the production planning team at Arburg, said his company places particular emphasis on the spontaneous nature of this exchange. "Many ideas are a direct result of these discussions," Schmid said. "Most of them come from the operators themselves. This effectively weakens arguments such as 'but we've always done it this way.'"

Eight of the 14 intended workshops have already taken place, with Arburg reporting that operators' initial skepticism gave way to an "overwhelmingly positive assessment of the results."

Shooting the process on location: While Emanuel Armbruster's actions (center) are filmed during work, Torsten Schmid (left), and Reiner Huss explain the processes.

Sign up for the PlasticsToday NewsFeed newsletter.

You May Also Like