ToolingDocs Case Studies

MCA Case Study #09-30-09

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

● Specific objectives expressed to ToolingDocs prior to the MCA 

● MCA Observation Summary

● Scoring the department in 50+ categories and 7 Key Performance Indicators

● Final observations, recommendations and conclusion

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 avg. age of 2-10 yrs.

● Mold Metrics: 75 active, SPI 101’s to prototype, 1- to 128-cavity, 20% hot runner, avg. 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 & unscheduled mold pulls)

● Shop Metrics: 5 full-time repair technicians (4 Day Shift and 1 Second Shift)

● Shop Layout: 50’ X 50’ (2,500 sq. ft.)

● 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:
This Company is on a mission to upgrade their mold maintenance efficiencies. Several of their customers have been requesting better documentation and mold performance data, which motivated the desire for this MCA.

Shop Supervisor Objectives:
New shop supervisor, who is continuing old documentation practices and processes, wants to see “another way to do it”.

MCA Observation summary

Shop Metrics:
The overall shop area is a generously-sized 2,500 square feet. They have a very nice array of metal working equipment and the skilled employees to run it. However, the repair area of the shop is very small, crowded with molds and the two benches are poorly designed and too close together, which creates unsafe traffic flow and working conditions.

All replacement components are kept in filing cabinets and in no particular part of the shop. Housekeeping practices in the shop are just average. There is adequate staff (5 repair techs) on board for their MPP (Mold Pull Pace) of 3 to 5 per day. They estimate a 50% Unscheduled Mold Stop ratio. (See savings calculator below.)

Mold cleaning is still done 100% by hand. No tooling salvage program is in place. They are using a popular plastics ERP system but critical mold information is being recorded in the “Notes” section of the electronic work orders, which renders this information virtually useless.

ScheScheduled mold PM’s are currently cycle based BUT usually performed only at the end of a production run.

Documentation Metrics Overview:
Data Collection Methods and System: Maintenance tracking is completely manual. Last shot is NOT being checked by Q/A for flash. Production data is available but is not being collected at the press during the run.

Data Utilization Practices:
QA only checks with “Go – No Go” gauges so real measurements are not available to monitor parts close to spec limits. Molds have cycle counters but they are not being used. Typical shop fire-fighting culture – no news is good news.

MCA Conclusions and Recommendations Summary

This 20 yr old facility is in good health with enough staff on board to get the job done, but old methods for maintenance tracking and reporting keep them mired in problems. Their maintenance shop has all the metalworking equipment and required skills to be much more proactive, but a lack documentation structure will hold them back as they cannot set goals or target areas for efficiency gains.

The daily unscheduled mold pulls are being repaired as needed – with little thought to preventing them. They need to improve the layout of their shop and work on the discipline necessary to take advantage of the ERP capabilities of their system.

The mold benches are too short and jammed together. They need to invest in an ultrasonic tank as there is too much wasted time and potential damage in hand cleaning.

At best guess by the shop manager, 50% of all mold stops are the result of Unscheduled Mold Stops due to a variety of reasons that they could not pin-point. Reducing this amount to even a paltry 40% (should be 20%) would save the company $45,000 per year and $90,000 at 30% as seen on the MPP metrics chart shown below.

But before they can determine where to start, they need to acquire a baseline of current data and see where their high cost or high frequency issues really are.

Final Scores and Shop Designation Level  

MPP Cost Savings Spreadsheet