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Performance improvement thru production scheduling

Executive Summary

Customer Name: Moksha Thermoplastics Pvt Ltd, India

Focus: Injection moulding machine monitoring for productivity improvements

BUSINESS CHALLENGE

  • Management wants to keep track of OEE in real time
  • To plan production based on current and queued jobs
  • Operators set cycle time on higher side and this results in reduced productivity 
  • Machine downtime, while product change
  • No master data for product and standard cycle time for individual machine depending on machine capacity. 
  • Detail breakdown of Cycle time so that quality can be ensured

SOLUTION

  • PlantConnect SFactory DAM acquires a multiple relay output from each machine (total  7 machines)
  • Alerts are generated for cycle time variations
  • Alert are generated to team when current production is near to set order quantity. 
  • Energy monitoring at each machine. 
  • Calculating average cycle time for each product.
  • Getting multiple pulse from each machine and deriving 5 factors from cycle time including Injection time, Mould close time, Cooling time, etc. 

BUSINESS RESULTS

  • Cycle time deviations have started reducing resulting in increased productivity and also can monitor quality closely. 
  • Machine downtime reasons are identified 
  • Production in-charge is getting real time OEE and can take corrective action if it is going down
  • Production scheduling has improved machine utilization.
  • Timely alert of product scheduled completion helps in planning for the changeover to the next product with minimum loss of machine availability time

Customer Background

The customer is a reputed plastics industrial bobbins manufacturer in Ahmedabad, India. They have very aggressive production and quality standards.

Business Requirements

  • To monitor OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) in real time and improve
  • To track cycle time automatically and in real-time
  • To track machine utilization and achieve minimum downtime

Challenges

Customer works on a very tight production schedule. There were many issues related to productivity and per shift output was not as expected. On investigating reasons it was found that operators would set the machine to higher cycle time value to ensure that quality is good. Fallout of this was wastage of time & resources in each cycle and reduction in productivity.Productivity in night shift was even lower and management suspected that unrequired downtime was high during this shift.

The product changeover on the machine would take lot of time, and now with the scheduling feature of the solution, timely alert indicates completion time and it helps in planning for the changeover to the new product. This has greatly increased their machine utilization

PlantConnect SFactory Solution

Customer has injection moulding machines from many different manufacturers. Instead of approaching OEM for enabling controller connectivity, they decided to go for SFactory Basic solution. In this solution, we acquire a multiple relay output (pulse) which is generated in the machine for every injection cycle. SFactory calculates cycle count, cycle time, etc. using this pulse as trigger. Following is the overall deployment in this installation

  • Currently 5 Injection moulding machines, 1 chiller and 2 Fusing machines are connected to SFactory
  • 35 more Injection moulding machines, chillers, compressors, mould temperature controllers will be connected in next phase
  • SFactory server is installed on company intranet
  • A condition based alarm is defined which alerts shift supervisor if cycle time is consistently above or below tolerance
  • All other standard features are available including various reports 

Benefits after SFactory implementation

PlantConnect SFactory solution was very easy to install and configure. The system is running in the plant for around 6 month as of end December 2016. Already customer is getting results as expected. As they understand the system better, they are using it more meaningfully. AIPL is supporting the customer throughout.  Following benefits are already visible:

Std. cycle time 8 sec / 10 cavities
Before SFactory After SFactory Installation
Setting by operator 9.5 sec going un-noticed Alerts for cycle time variation and corrections
Production in 8 hours: 30310 Production in 8 hours: 33880 / by operator setting
Product changeover used to take 3 hours Now product changeover takes just 30 minutes
Machine utilization has increased by over 15%!!
  • The cycle time deviations across all the machines/products are coming down. This was achieved via alerts as well as monitoring the cycle time data and at the same time training operators. This resulted in productivity increase
  • Display of OEE on large screen in shop floor area has started a healthy competition amongst operators to improve OEE of their machines. With consistent encouragement from managers, this trend will improve their OEE beyond what was possible otherwise.
  • Production in-charge and supervisors can monitor OEE in real time and if it starts to reduce for any machine, they promptly investigate the issue and address it.
  • Exact downtime recording brings real picture in front of everyone. By assigning downtime reasons and analyzing the top reasons, they are taking measures to reduce the downtime.
  • It is very easy, fast and accurate to generate various production reports which are used by management. Also management has direct access to these reports. This ensures more effective control on overall operations.

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