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Why Should I Train My Injection Molders?

injection molding trainingThe amount of money that can be lost in a manufacturing process such as injection molding (or extrusion) without even realizing it is being lost is truly staggering. Do you think the average molding technician really knows what a second is worth on a 10 second cycle for a 1000 hr molding job? Not likely. What’s worse, they probably really don’t care that much, unless they are part owner or stand to lose financially from an inefficient process.

With the current popular terms like Decoupled Molding™ and Scientific Molding being used by every injection molder in sight, it is easy to forget what these terms really are. They represent a systematic, controlled, carefully measured approach to injection molding.

This begs the question of “How can you implement this sort of approach if your people don’t understand the 4 basic plastics processing variables and can look at molding from the plastics point of view?” Those are concepts that go back to Don Paulson’s groundbreaking research in the late 1960’s and early ’70’s. Rod Groleau, a student of Mr. Paulson’s, was also involved in this research. The basic concepts are not new. The widespread adoption (finally) of them is new.

So if you accept the fact that your employees need the knowledge to get the benefits of a systematic approach to molding, then you must accept the need for training in your plant.

What benefits can you expect from a fully implemented systematic injection molding approach monitored by properly trained personnel? Here’s a partial list:

  • Less damage to molds
  • Reductions in unplanned machine downtime
  • Faster more efficient troubleshooting
  • Far fewer part defects
  • Improved part quality and consistency
  • A repeatable, reliable injection molding process
  • Permanent reduction in cycle times
  • A safer production floor
  • Cycle optimization (that is repeatable)
  • Dramatically reduced good part to good part mold change times
  • Better mold and machine maintenance (longer life)
  • Happy customers
  • Higher profits

The secret to achieving and maintaining these benefits (and many companies stumble here) is that you must treat injection molding training not as an “event”, but rather as a “process”. It doesn’t end. It should be part of every employee’s work week.

Show off your training program. It is a GREAT sales tool. We’ve had many customers report back that just the fact that they have a documented training program in place has provided them a huge ROI on their training investment – in some cases, even before they’ve really gotten into the training!

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