ToolingDocs Case Studies

MCA Case Study #05-12-07


ToolingDocs was recently called in to provide a Maintenance Capability Assessment (MCA) for a proprietary molder. Below is an overview of the company along with:

  • Specific objectives expressed to ToolingDocs prior to the MCA
  • Scoring the department in 50 categories and 7 Key Performance Indicators
  • Final observations, recommendations and conclusion.

Company Overview

  • Company: West Coast Injection Molder (Proprietary)
  • Product Type: Medical, Packaging
  • Production Environment: Production monitoring software, air-conditioned plant
  • Press Count: 55 total, from 125 to 750 ton; avg. age 8 – 10 yrs
  • Mold Metrics: 250 active, mostly class 101, 4 to 64 cavities, 75% hot runner; avg. age 5 – 10 yrs
  • Average Daily Cavity Count: 1,350
  • Average Daily Cavity Efficiency: 91 to 93%
  • Resins Run: PE, PP Acrylic, ABS, Styrene
  • MPP (Mold Pull Pace): 5 – 7 per day (includes 3 per day for change-overs)
  • Shop Metrics: 12 full-time repair technicians (10-day shift, 1- 2nd & 1-3rd shift) 
  • Shop Layout: 15’ X 30’ (450 sq ft)
  • Documentation System: ERP with typical work order maintenance module (single text field for data entry). Other in-house designed systems (manual worksheets) collecting various mold data.

Administrative Objectives

Company Objectives:
To find out how we compare with the rest of the industry in terms of mold maintenance documentation practices, shop metrics and employee skill levels.

Shop Supervisor Objectives:
To find out how can we improve shop work flow (layout) in our small space, increase mold cavitation and be more proactive with mold repairs.  

MCA Observation summary

Shop Metrics: 
Small, cramped, poorly designed space and benches with inadequate lighting. Excess machinery (mills, surface grinders, etc…) taking up valuable space and leaving little room for employees to move about, store personal tools or efficiently manage the workflow.  No PC access in the shop and housekeeping practices need major improvement. Repair shop skill levels and experience were excellent.  Plenty of shop headcount to handle Mold Pull Pace (MPP) duties including product change-overs.

Documentation Metrics Overview:

Data Collection Methods and System:
Dedicated office clerk to hunt down and manually enter mold data in various Excel Spreadsheets.  Mold Repair Work Orders generated from facility ERP through a typical maintenance module.  

Data Utilization Practices:
Minimum utilization by supervisor or repair technicians. No standardized reporting, defect targeting, mold performance or maintenance analysis conducted. Mold cycles counted but not utilized when generating maintenance repair plans. Reactive environment.

MCA Conclusions and Recommendations Summary

This older, well-staffed facility had the necessary production monitoring equipment to be a best practices example for the majority of the plastics molding industry. Unfortunately, mold maintenance efforts suffered from shop constraints and poor record keeping practices.

Shop efficiency and workflow will improve greatly with the added space next door that is now occupied by the plant maintenance department. This should effectively double the footprint of the shop and ease bottlenecks. Data collection method was better than most simply because of a dedicated clerk. A software upgrade will improve data utilization and provide the company with the necessary information to target unscheduled mold stops along with the most frequent or costly mold or part defects. Projected cavitation increase to 96% and labor savings of $125,000.00 over 2 years after applying all MCA mold performance and maintenance efficiency recommendations. A reassessment will be performed in 12 months to verify these recommendations were implemented.

Final Scores and Shop Designation Level