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How to make a molded part be approved by customer?

"How many shots/how much time should it take to make a consistent part that will be approved to pack and ship to the customer?"

Based on someone's response, this will depend on our startup process and the complexity of a specific part that is produced. Also, if my interpretation of the feedback is correct, a DOE should be completed to determine an acceptable response to this question.

If this is correct, let me provide a little more information about my situation and ask another question. I currently work for a small injection molding manufacturer with limited resources. I joined this team in August because the owner is ready to take a few steps toward building a much larger organization and wanted my assistance in getting them there.

The most difficult challenge has been that all my teammates grew up in this small organization so this is all they know. Add in the limited budget resources and this becomes quite a challenge especially when implementing new or revised processes.

What I need to do is establish a metric that can be used to drive improvements within this startup process. I need to do this without a DOE but with an option to invest is some in the future. Prior to my arrival many processes were not measured so I have no historical data to use to establish a metric. This is where and why I need some guidance from other professionals.

If you were in my shoes, where would you begin in order to establish such a metric so we can benchmark and use it to drive improvement?

The solution:
Step 0 - train everyone - there is nothing magic in injection molding. This is a skill, neither an art nor a science. From the initial qualification run you have created the 'recipe'. From there on out, folks follow the recipe. If you can't do that yourself, contact me. I got books/training program and spreadsheets. NOT EXPENSIVE
Step 1 - work on efficient setup - Training
Step 2 - make sure your machines and molds are properly maintained - Training - do you have a program?
Step 3 - work on standardize process guides where only a little algebra (via a spreadsheet) will give you the conditions for a different sized machine. - Training Step 1
Step 4 - learn the 'method' for troubleshooting. I train this also. Troubleshooting can make a lot of scrap if you don't know how to do it efficiently.

Start up scarp should be look at as part of the overall picture, normal scrap rates for most injection molding should be less than 2.5% and that would include start up scarp. The scarp should be track from the time the tool gets started until its shut down then review your scarp to determine when and where it's coming from. We all know you're going to have a certain amount at start up that's a given but what is the overall percentage of scrap for that job. If it higher than 2.5% then someone needs to dive into the process and figure out when and where it's coming from if most of it is coming from start up then you have a problem with your tool or a very bad start up procedure. Now this is a general note if we are talking about high tolerance parts than this might not apply, you might want to do a time study on the parts take your first 1/2 hour of parts run and measure them check for trends.

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