Best Practices in Mold Maintenance & Mold Monitoring
Molds are critical to cost-effective scalable manufacturing, but they come with a high price tag: a complex, high-quality mold for use in the plastics industry can easily cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. The products they are used to create also often generate millions of dollars in revenue.
It is imperative that your molds be kept in peak condition for as long as possible to ensure positive ROI and minimal disruptions to your facility’s production. Shop floor software is the tool you need to improve your plastic mold maintenance procedures and safeguard your company’s bottom line.
When Molding Goes Awry
Molds are so highly valued because they allow manufacturers to easily mass-produce large batches of near-identical products. However, they are far from infallible. There is a multitude of reasons why a manufacturer might experience problems with their molds during production, including:
- Mold damage
- Low mold cavitation
- Scuffed tooling
- Water and oil leaks
- Sticking parts
- Ejector plate issues
- Electrical issues
Any of these contingencies can significantly impact production outcomes and lead to thousands of dollars of flawed, unsalable product. This not only wastes the materials that went into making those products but also reduces machine availability by tying up the machines being used to produce that scrap batch.
While it is impossible to eliminate every potential problem from your production lines, you can prevent many of them with good injection molding maintenance practices.
Basic Mold Maintenance Is Not Enough
Mold maintenance may be a critical part of efficient production, but simply conducting routine maintenance on a set schedule is not sufficient to ensure optimal outcomes.
Production hiccups do not adhere to a schedule. They can happen at any time, regardless of how thorough your maintenance procedures are – and the longer they go unaddressed, the more damage they will do to your factory’s productivity. Given enough time, a minor issue could easily turn into a million-dollar catastrophe. Catching a problem early, on the other hand, significantly reduces the harm it can do.
If you want to truly minimize the impact of molding problems, you need to recognize the value of real-time responsive repair and invest in mold monitoring as well as prevention strategies.
How Machine Monitoring Analytics Can Help
Industry 4.0, or the introduction of digital solutions into the manufacturing industry, has made it easier than ever to conduct both routine and responsive mold maintenance procedures.
Shop floor control software allows you to easily schedule regular mold maintenance rounds and verify that they have been completed. You are not limited to doing this using the standard calendar-based approach; you can also take advantage of the software’s ability to count production cycles and program the software to automatically open a maintenance ticket after a given number of cycles have passed, allowing for more precise control over the timing. This is a basic but fundamental function that ensures that your molds receive the upkeep they need and that any developing issues can be addressed before they become severe enough to disrupt production.
More importantly, however, this software also allows for in-depth, real-time production monitoring inside your facility. Once installed, its digital dashboard can tell you exactly what is happening on your factory floor at any given moment. Statistics regarding everything from output numbers and rejects to machine availability allow you to quickly and easily perform the production monitoring you need to complement your mold maintenance practices.
For example, you can use this software to review quality control statistics from any or all of your injection machines at any time, quickly identifying any outlying trends that might indicate a potential molding issue, like higher rejects rate. You don’t have to rely solely on manual supervision, either; you can also program automatic quality control alerts to be sent out to you and your supervisors anytime particular parameters are met.
Because the software will make sure that you are notified immediately when a problem occurs, you can easily investigate and correct a potential molding issue before it spirals out of control. Eliminating as much of the delay as possible between a problem’s occurrence and its resolution is the key to greatly reducing the economic impact of these events in your factory.
Be proactive. Be productive.
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Optimize Your Mold Maintenance Procedure Now
Your factory’s molds are in constant use and are integral to nearly every part of its production. Integrating a machine monitoring solution like shop floor control software into your facility is the best way to uphold high standards for mold maintenance and ensure that mold issues are addressed before they can destroy entire batches of product.
Matics is a leading real-time operational intelligence solution with proven and meaningful quality control applications. On average, our customers experience a 3% decrease in large material waste and achieve positive ROI in as little as four weeks.
Get in touch with us today and let us make our case to you; we’re confident that our product can optimize your facility’s molding processes and yield significant cost savings in the process.