Actionable Steps Plastic Professionals can Take to Achieve Profit Goals For some plastic processors, improving…
Injection Molding Training Challenge – Part 2
In the first blog post discussing the injection molding training challenge that Paulson Training undertook with 2 separate injection molding plants…
…we outlined the scope of the study, the goals of the study and the methodology we used. We also introduced you to 2 injection molding companies, both custom molders, one with 40 machines and one with 10 machines.
In this blog post, we’d like to get into some specifics of what happened at each molder over the course of the 6 month training. Remember, the entire study was meant to offer concrete proof that injection molding training pays for itself. And in fact, has a very quick ROI.
How much difference did the training make? Here are some of the documented results from Injection Molder A40
- Rejects rates were cut in half
- Customer returns were reduced by two thirds
- Cycle times went down an average of 16 %
From Injection Molder B10..
- Overall production went up by 35%
- Mold change time went down by 10%
- Machine downtime was reduced by 32%.
The two companies reported improvements all down the line as production workers, supervisors and managers found answers to quality and productivity problems By learning injection molding from the plastic’s point of view (this link goes out to one of our longtime training partner in the academic world) and using the 4 variables approach to problem solving.
Why the dramatic improvements? Increasing employee capability is just a matter of teaching the personnel what they need to know to do a better job, things that experience alone doesn’t teach.
Using the Paulson Method of Training, we first make sure that everyone has the same understanding of terminology, injection molding machine controls, and basic plastic material characteristics. Then we show the relationships between the injection molding machine controls, the plastic’s behavior and the finished molded part properties. The feedback loop is diagrammed below…
Our injection molding training shows many practical techniques for improving quality and productivity, but the objective of the training is not to give molders the answers to all of their molding problems based on a list of symptoms. That is not how you master the injection molding process.
Rather, we teach information that helps them avoid problems in the first place. If problems do occur, they don’t need a “cheat sheet” to go through and hope the problem gets solved. They are trained to analyze the problem from the plastic’s point of view and then decide which of the 4 plastic variables must be adjusted to solve the problem. Only then do they start adjusting machine controls.
Now, a little more about the “4 variables” approach to injection molding. The 4 variables approach was the result of research conducted by Donald C. Paulson in the late 1960’s. After much experimentation using fully instrumented molds, he discovered that during the molding process, plastic material ultimately reacts to just 4 basic variables. These variables are: plastic pressure, temperature, flow rate and cooling rate. These are the conditions that control the molded part properties and the stability of your injection molding process.
It would be great if we could design an injection molding machine with just 4 controls on it labeled heat, pressure, flow rate, and cooling rate.
Obviously we can’t. So what we have to do to produce true molding experts is to teach how these 4 plastic variables affect finished plastic part properties. Then your employees can be taught how each of the molding machine controls affects these four conditions. Without taking that first step of teaching the 4 processing variables, a molder is going to be handicapped in their troubleshooting and cycle optimization skills. Understanding molding from the plastics point of view, results in employees who can solve pretty much any molding problem and in the injection molding process. Not only that, they will understand which solution is the most economical (i.e. most profitable) solution for that molding job.
“I thought we’d get a few key personnel trained and maybe get some improvement, but I wasn’t expecting this dramatic a result”
General Manager of Injection Molder A40
“This is the first time I’ve ever had employees knocking at my door to get into a training program”
Human Resources Director at Injection Molder A40
“The results were way beyond my expectations….the training program really made a difference”
President of Injection Molder B10
This kind of success from training is not magic and is actually very typical. How can you be assured that your plant will get these results? There are 3 main things that you must get right. They are…
- Proper training planning
- Quality content
- Smooth implementation
Paulson Training has 35 years experience in all of the above. When you invest in our training programs, we make sure that the program gets integrated into your injection molding production process smoothly.
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