Photo used from article titled "Mmm, M: The Best Road Cars Ever Developed by BMW’s M Division" by CONNOR HOFFMAN JUL 3, 2018, www.caranddriver.com
Ladies and Gentlemen, I am not talking about your car but your Injection molding machines. Let me start with a list of questions :
Are you sure you are running your machines at optimum processing conditions?
Are you sure you are getting maximum output from your molding machines?
Are you are getting consistent production from your molding machines?
Is this true that every production lot is inconsistent and your scrap either increases or decreases and you have no clue what’s happening?
Do you consistently change the process settings on the molding machine to troubleshoot production problems?
If you are unsure or confused about your answers to questions 1 thru 3 or if the answer to questions 4 or 5 is “yes” then you are one amongst legions of dissatisfied injection molders. Almost every injection molder out there has faced at least one of these problems. You might be thinking that this is how you have been running the molding machines for past several decades and there is not at all much you could do. But I have news for you my friend. There is something that can be done so that you are not left clueless on the production floor.
I welcome you to the world of “Scientific Injection Molding”, the implementation of which would give you consistent quality in injection molding and you will not need to tweak the parameters every shift for getting better quality part. Consistency in part quality will become the standard norm.
I worked for several multinationals and traveled worldwide, visiting manufacturing facilities and found that very few molders were aware of this technique. I have implemented Scientific molding at manufacturing plants in India, USA, UK, Mexico, Malaysia and have caused savings of input raw material worth millions of dollars annually and have also increased production per hour resulting in reduction of molding cost per part. I have also done worldwide training's on Scientific molding.
The most important parameters on a molding machine are :
Scientific molding in simple words is letting your machine use all the above 4 parameters to the maximum extent possible to achieve the highest production. Also, each parameter will support the other parameter and not limit each other. This means machine is not running Speed, Pressure, Temperature or Time limited.
In simple words, when you limit your molding machine to use only certain pressure, time or speed and restrict it, every shot will be different, consistency in part quality will not be there. Now when you give the machine the freedom, it will use everything the way it wants and then part quality will be consistent every shot. Thus, what we do in Scientific molding, is just let the machine do its best.
The Scientific molding process involves running the mold for at least a day or two and each and every parameter on the machine is scientifically studied. Several different settings would be tried. We would also run a DOE (Design of Experiments) and then at the end of it, a Process Window would be determined. Hence forward, running the mold would be within the Process Window. The study would create a robust process unaffected by variations in the machine and MFI of raw material. So I invite you to consider implementing it @ your plant.
Advantages of Scientific molding:
Consistent part quality and part weight resulting in input raw material savings.
No surprises every lot causing rejects, thus improvement of yield.
Machines running at maximum production per hour possible resulting in highest productivity.
Having a Process Window would give good control and assure consistent quality to the company and the production floor would have some parameters to tweak, if they have to, during a production run.
Implement Scientific molding and optimize your machine and reap the benefits of consistency and quality. Start driving your BMW (Your injection molding machine) @ 200 km/hour and not leave money on the table.
About the Author:
Ketan Maniar, consultant @ KB Consulting, is a dynamic professional with in-depth exposure to several business functions. Having 19+ years of experience in the corporate world of USA and India, he brings with him a wealth of education (MS Plastics Engineering, MBA, MM I, MM II, PMP) and experience in medical device R&D and manufacturing. He is proficient in Plastic injection molding/Insert molding and LSR (Liquid Silicone Rubber) molding, commencement of new plants, performing Validations/qualifications (IQ, OQ, PQ). He is an inventor of two US Patents and has published research paper in Journals. He could be reached at Email: email@example.com