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Get plastics engineer with injection molding process

I ran a slightly smaller custom injection molder with machine sizes from 25 ton to 600 Tons. Start with this, a tech may think he has parts after a few shots. Ask them to have the process run untouched for at least 5 minutes. Then take sets to QC for first piece inspection and start saving. If all parts from the startup shots (at least one from every cavity, but more if your technical judgment indicates more) pass inspection, keep the saved parts and run. IF any fail inspection rejects all parts run to date, process a correction and resend first part submission.

I ran a company that had many short runs 80% of all startups ran 2,000 shots or less. In that kind of environment you can run a DOE on only the select few jobs. You may have to understand your parts in families and generalities.

Just remember that throwing away an hour's production is a small cost compared with resetting a mold because you did not get enough good parts last time it was in. Recognize your major economics of run and MAKE SURE you have enough good parts before you pull a mold.

I took a quick look at the number of machines currently and in consideration of adding more capacity and significantly increasing the size of the operation, I strongly recommend you get a well experienced plastics engineer with injection molding process, tooling and machine expertise on board. Training is great, but a consistent approach is critical. Set-up techs tend to revert back to their old ways, especially when they've never had formal training and have been "brought up" in the business and feel they are constantly fighting fires. So many of these folks were taught wrong in the first place, it takes a well-liked, hands on type of leader to help them learn and implement the right way to approach mold trials, and subsequent start-ups. You have a huge job ahead of you, but if you plan to expand your operation it would be most beneficial to have the right type of expertise in house both for training and to take advantage of their knowledge as it pertains to making the most of your expansion in the facility layout and equipment selection, work flow planning, etc.

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