Borough has always been an open
and transparent business when dealing with clients. We have offered
lots of advice over the years to help injection moulding firms,
design moulds exclusively for part to be chrome plated, much of
which is detailed in this piece from
Injection Moulding* magazine.
But sometimes you have to accept that problem solving is not the
sole preserve of the management team and that good ideas can come
from anyone in a business, at any time; all you have to do is ask.
It is an approach we adopted many years ago, but we were recently
reminded of the benefits.
We compiled and distributed a questionnaire to everyone in our
mould shop, to try and understand what was working well, what
wasn't and what improvements we could make. The mould shop team was
polled because of the significant increase in the number and
variety of components it is now expected to produce.
The mould shop was almost at capacity and so
we recently installed another new Engel Victory 300, tie-bar-less
injection moulding machine, to allow for more growth and
greater efficiency. We have several and expected this new machine,
coupled to its Viper 20 robot would slot straight in, with the
mould shop team at full throttle from the start.
We quickly learnt from the questionnaire that no two machines
are exactly the same, even from the same manufacturers. So, knowing
we need to deliver more parts, more quickly, some for chrome
plating and some to add to assemblies, the team wanted specific training
by Engel engineers, so they could understand the machines in
more detail and operate at optimum efficiency.
The new machines take bigger tools and thanks to our jib crane
servicing these machines, these can be changed within 45 minutes.
This represents half the previous best, using a portable A-frame to
change tools on our older machines.
The training delivered by the Engel team was first class and
instilled a great deal of confidence in our mould shop team. They
learnt a lot of small adjustments can be made to fine-tune the
production programmes, to ensure mouldings are of the highest
quality, whether they go on to be chrome plated or not.
This valuable training ensures we not only have the additional
capacity our growth requires, but our mould shop is working at
optimal efficiency. And we reached this new peak thanks to asking
the right questions, of the right people; those doing the work.
Admittedly we had to ignore the suggestions about adding a
leisure club, bar and restaurant to our facility, but the
suggestions that have helped us increase production efficiency
proved worthwhile in the extreme.