The global plastics market is expected to reach a valuation of $750.1 billion USD by 2028 and plastics manufacturers have a golden opportunity. However, the increasingly complex demands of operations management in this industry may make it difficult for manufacturers to capitalize on this booming market without technological help.
Implementing the right plastic manufacturing software at your facility can streamline operations, save time and money, and significantly boost a plants ability to keep up with rising consumer demand. However, it is important to remember that not all manufacturing software is suitable for the unique requirements of the plastics industry.
The ideal plastics production monitoring software should offer six features and benefits:
1. Tools to Increase Production Agility
Due to the numerous applications of plastics, this particular type of manufacturing is typically fast-paced. Customers often place last-minute orders that must be fulfilled immediately. This frequently occurs due to the complexity of supply chain management and the frequent need to manage time-sensitive items, such as food and beverage supplies.
Small custom orders are also commonplace; A plastics manufacturer must be able to accept any job at any time by quickly reconfiguring planned production runs around new and urgent orders.
Your plastics manufacturing platform should include options to manipulate production scheduling. You should be able to slot new orders into schedules based on available resources and the urgency of the orders.
It should also streamline setup time for each production run using gold standards for efficient setup processes. This reduces lead times for each order. It also makes it easier for facilities of all sizes to accommodate small-scale custom production orders and pivot easily between orders over the course of a shift.
2. Machine Availability Optimization
Limited machine availability is one of the top challenges faced by manufacturers in all industries. A manufacturing plant must make optimal use of every machine it has to maximize productivity and overall profit. Downtime during the production process must be reduced as much as possible.
Your plastics manufacturing software should allow you to monitor how your machines are being used and alert you when one is idle too long due to an unexpected breakdown or a shift change. Your team can then take action to get that machine up and running again. This enables real-time OEE management in response to immediate problems within the facility.
3. Quality Control Tracking
Quality control is a key part of the production process of manufacturing plastic products. Plastic formulations are complex chemical equations that must be carried out exactly as specified to deliver the intended result. If one small thing goes wrong during the production process, the final product will likely not meet the QC standards of your facility.
Plastics production software with real-time production-monitoring capabilities can be used to track the amount of scrap produced during each production run. If scrap numbers become too high, the software can alert your team.
A good platform can also optimize regrind (excess material from flash, runners, and sprue) by tracking it like any other material and upholding the same quality standards for products that use it.
4. Instant Communication Across Your Team
Plastics production is a complex process requiring input from a full team of workers, supervisors, and maintenance technicians. For optimal outcomes, all members of your staff need to be able to communicate with each other from any point on the factory floor and with as little delay as possible.
Top plastics industry software incorporates features to promote team collaboration, including direct and group chat messaging systems and factory-wide alerts. It should also display all production information on a single dashboard that can be accessed by the entire team. This creates a common reference point that everyone can reference.
5. Full Scalability
Many plastics manufacturers hope to grow their production capabilities. Whether that means adding new machines to your existing facility or establishing additional plants in other locations, at some point you will need to manage more equipment.
Your plastics manufacturing software should be able to scale across any number of machines or production sites from one centralized platform. This way, you can continue to use the same quality software solution regardless of how big your operations become.
6. Simple Plug-and-Play Implementation
Many manufacturing software platforms rely on next-generation machinery. This limits their usefulness for manufacturers with limited budgets or plans to slowly replace outdated equipment rather than doing it all at once.
Choosing a plastics production monitoring solution that can be retrofitted to your existing machinery allows you to get more use out of depreciated equipment. With the help of an advanced software platform, older machines can perform just as well as new ones at a far lower cost.
Invest in Leading Production Monitoring Software for Plastics Manufacturers
Real-time production monitoring software is the key to solving many of the challenges that plastics manufacturers face. This technology brings incredible amounts of information to the factory floor.
- Driving efficiencies
- Increasing production capabilities
- Magnifying the efforts of every staff member through effective teamwork
Matics’ software offers next-level, real-time manufacturing analytics for plastic manufacturing. Factories of all sizes can easily implement our solution and begin to realize positive results in just a few days.
Contact us today for more information on what our product can do for plastics manufacturers like you, including the option to book a first-hand demo of our leading software solution.