Why Injection Mold Makers Need Lean Manufacturing

Usman Siddiqui
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Lean manufacturing helps makers create lean techniques that can assist in building and maintaining most effectual manufacturing business. Lean manufacturing techniques enable cost cutting while improving on quality and production of items in the right quantity and at the right time. One of the key principles in lean manufacturing is to achieve such benefits while eliminating waste.

When we talk about plastic injection molding, the most obvious instances of wastage is manufacturing of defective parts. Defective manufacturing is a direct result of poor mold designing. From the beginning, the mold design should be rightly done. This will not only save you money and disappointment, but also will help you in improving your production cycle.

Plastic injection molding is a fast and challenging business in medical device manufacturing. It has high potential for profit despite tight margins and vast competition. Plastic injection mold manufacturers can benefit from lean manufacturing processes. Its concept in entirety can help you enhance your operations and reduce costs.

Lean manufacturing is a sustainable approach to reduce wastage, reduced lead time and improve production. A shift in thought process is required to be able to embrace this concept and implement it successfully.

Here are some of the reasons why injection mold makers should rely on lean manufacturing.

#1 Elimination of Waiting Time

In lean manufacturing, waiting time is considered to be of no value whatsoever. Hence, it is a form of waste that needs to be eliminated. In plastic injection molding process, any amount of wasted time even fractions of a second can be saved with optimization techniques. Making use of a scientific process, optimization can be done for material, product, tools and machines being used. Subsequently, production cycle time is effectively minimized by adjusting machine operations and speed which helps in reduced waiting time.

#2 Reduced Amount of Defects

Waste elimination in any type of manufacturing is basically eliminating defective products. Instead of inspecting the products after manufacturing, emphasis is laid upon averting defects during the molding process. The idea is to have a robust molding process that aims for zero-defects. This will lead to reduced instances of a defective product reaching the customer. Consequently, overall costs are also reduced.

#3 Increased Production Efficiency

Overproduction and under production are forms of inefficiency. Lean manufacturing can reduce the over production waste in plastic injection molding industry. A scientific approach helps in running a controlled and robust production cycle that eliminates over production.

Lean manufacturing principles advocate continuous flow manufacturing. All molds should run in one cavity configuration which helps in achieving a cavity balance leading to larger processing window. This technology can contribute significantly in production efficiency.

#4 5S

5S refers to five steps which help in boosting up the manufacturing process. These 5 steps are Sort, Straighten, Shine, Standardize and Sustain. These 5 steps are key to a strong foundation for consistent improvement. It can also help in systematically optimizing the workplace to make sure that it is efficient and secure.

A 5S concept mandates continuous checks and repairs of machinery and equipment giving immediate and notable results. Several injection molding companies have maximized the benefits of lean manufacturing with the 5S approach.

#5 Kaizen

Kaizen is basically a practice developed by Masaaki Imai of Japan. It is a way of continuously improving workplace productivity for more efficiency. The Kaizen aspects deal with optimizing production processes by taking prompt actions and resolving issues speedily.

The Kaizen Blitz is an intensive and focussed approach to improvise processes for noticeable results quickly. In manufacturing processes, teams collaborate and work together to improvise; solve problems creatively in a structured manner within a short time span.

With Kaizen Blitz you can pick a certain area to focus on. This leads to desired progress and improves collaboration across multiple functions and departments. This process is short but intense.

Conclusion

Reducing costs, waste and increasing efficiency are all directly related. The lean manufacturing process can play a pivotal role in your business. This process provides you with a cohesive strategy to observe where waste exists and how it can be successfully eliminated. The plastic injection molding industry needs to rely on waste elimination to increase efficiency and bring about customer satisfaction.

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