ToolingDocs Case Studies

MCA Case Study #09-11-09


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

  • Specific objectives expressed to ToolingDocs prior to the MCA
  • Final observations, recommendations and conclusion
  • Scoring the department in 50 categories and 7 Key Performance Indicators
  • Mold Pull Pace (MPP) Cost Savings Chart

Company Overview

  • Company: Midwestern Custom Molder
  • Product Type: Packaging, Gas and Water Fittings
  • Production Environment: 20-year-old plant with 80 total employees
  • Press Metrics: 29 total, from 50 to 300 ton, and an average age of 2-10 years
  • Mold Metrics: 75 active, SPI 101's to protogype, 1- to 128-cavity, 20% hot runner, average age 1-25 years
  • Average Daily Cavity Count: 700
  • Average Daily Cavity Efficiency: 92% to 94%
  • Resins Run: PC, PS, ABS, PE and some glass-filled nylon
  • MPP (Mold Pull Pace): 3-5 per day (includes change-over's and unscheduled mold pulls)
  • Shop Metrics: 5 full-time repair technicians (4 Day Shift and 1 Second Shift)
  • Shop Layout: 50' x 50' (2500 square feet)
  • Documentation System: Using typical "work order" manual sheets to track mold repair. Files full of old work orders - too old and inaccurate to be of value.

Administrative Objectives

Company Objectives:
They know their PM program is lacking in many ways. They are being asked by their customers about their mold PM program and feel this will be a good analysis.

Shop Supervisor Objectives:
Looking for suggestions on ways to improve the shop area. Would also like to implement a PM program.

MCA Observation summary

Shop Metrics: 
They have enough area to work in; however the manner in which it is organized is in need of improvement. They have adequate repair machinery (lathes, mills and grinders) but not nearly enough mold benches or cleaning equipment.

They have a very nice Tool Crib which, at the time the MCA was being conducted, was being re-organized and computerized.

There is adequate staff on board for their MPP (Mold Pull Pace); however the PM program is lacking in many ways.

Most of the Mold Repair Technicians have between 3-6 years of on-the-job experience in mold maintenance, but no formal training programs are in place.

There is no tracking of unscheduled downtime that would be useful in setting goals or measuring improvement.

PM’s are not scheduled based on cycles or hours run; rather, molds are serviced only at the end of a run.

Documentation Metrics Overview:

Data Collection Methods and System:
What little maintenance tracking that occurs is done manually. QC does last shot inspections on molds that are experiencing problems and reports are sent to the tool room.

Data Utilization Practices:
QA documents production defects and does share this information with production and tooling. Very limited proactive improvement programs are in place.    

MCA Conclusions and Recommendations Summary

This factory has the staff needed to get the job done but really lacks proper documentation by means of a formatted, electronic documentation system.

The volume of molds being pulled due to the type of short run business they are in is always challenging. Without a well defined PM program, data collection system and trained staff to execute the PM’s it is a never ending, uphill battle that is impossible to win without these tools.

The housekeeping was marginal, and there were not enough mold benches under the overhead bridge-crane. There are not nearly enough solvent tanks for cleaning the molds once disassembled.  An ultrasonic tank would be a good investment because there is too much time wasted on hand cleaning.

It was estimated by the shop supervisor that 40% of all mold stops are un-scheduled due to mold problems. Reducing this amount to 30% (should be 20%) would save the company $42,000 per year as seen on the MPP metrics chart shown below.  

Final Scores and Shop Designation Level  

MPP Cost Savings Spreadsheet