Guest blog: Production efficiency for profitable manufacturing

Christina Larsen, Marketing Manager at Intouch Monitoring Limited, explains how using a Manufacturing Execution System (MES) is a simple way for plastics manufacturing firms to increase manufacturing efficiencies and make business more profitable.

Intouch Monitoring Limited will be exhibiting at PDM 2018 on Stand D035.

In manufacturing, profit is reliant on how efficient the shop floor is. Squeezing everything from your resources without compromising on quality is a challenge increasingly faced by manufacturers. So how can manufacturers stay competitive whilst maintaining or increasing profit?

Continuous improvement is key. Looking at existing processes and finding ways of making these more efficient and cost effective ultimately leads to a more profitable business. Without a mechanism that collects accurate data and standardises current systems, continuous improvement is often reactionary, where problems are only dealt with after they have become costly and problematic.

Making sure that you make optimum use of your resources by installing a Manufacturing Execution System (MES) is a quick, easy and cost effective way. Using Intouch Monitoring as an example, real-time scheduling, monitoring and reporting systems gives manufacturers the visibility to easily make continuous improvement decisions that can contribute to improving Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE); improving productivity; reducing lead time and production errors; and raising quality.

Monitoring

Being able to monitor production in real-time and having live and up-to-date information in any part of your factory removes the costs and errors of collecting production data manually. This enables your personnel to use their time more efficiently and the high visibility also motivates production staff to keep machines operational.

Scheduling/Planning

By using a live scheduling module that shows the progress of every job in the plan operators can get a graphical visualisation of machine loading and capacity utilisation.

Jobs can be highlighted for many reasons, such as tool changes, late jobs or resource clashes and takes shift pattern, planned maintenance, overtime and shutdowns into account. Better planning significantly reduces changeover time and the job schedule view gives details of each job enabling operators to prepare for up-coming tool changes.

Reporting

By storing collected data, businesses are able to better track actual materials used and have increased accountability of material use to individual operators, which generally reduces waste. The data enables informed decisions to be made to streamline operations and monitor key processes to better control final product quality and achieve a “zero defect” policy.

Case Study: OnePlastics Group

One Plastics Group, a leading manufacturer of plastics components, implemented an Intouch Monitoring seven years ago on over 30 production machines in its manufacturing plant in Tamworth. As a direct result, it says it has “without question increased profitability”. Commenting, Dave Sheridan, Operations Manager, OnePlastics Tamworth, said: “At high level, Intouch has provided the information needed on OEE for us to make decisions on where Capex should be prioritised to increase ‘up time’ and quality of product.”

Sheridan said the Intouch system has given the company information on scrap, downtime and trends that has significantly contributed to its continuous improvement programmes. “We have reduced scrap by 1.4 across the sites by pinpointing the ‘actual’ scrap reasons and then working to resolve the cause of it. We use the scheduling Gantt Chart not only to schedule jobs, but equally important plan equipment servicing,” he continued. In addition, Sheridan says use of the MES system has given the company visibility of problemactic areas such as equipment, labour shortage or down time related to running out of bought-out materials. Uptime has improved across the site by a reported 10 per cent.

By using the Gantt Chart, the team is able to prepare for the next change. “We have improved change over times in some cells by 30 per cent,” Sheridan added. “This is really important as we have over 170 changes across the site per week. All of this without question increased our profitability of the business.” In addition, the OnePlastics Group says it has won new business by implementing the Intouch MES and has received endorsements from its customers.

Christina Larson Christina Larsen

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Telford Gets Set to Tackle Sustainable Plastic Design & Moulding

Trailblazers in plastics innovation, manufacturing, and recycling are to convene at Telford International Centre for the annual Plastics Design & Moulding exhibition and conference on 19th and 20th June.  A true showcase of the UK’s dynamic plastics sector, the free-to-attend PDM event brings together all the latest in plastics design, technology, moulding techniques, material developments and plastics science.

Colour Tone will offer advice on near-infrared (NIR) sorting of non-clear plastic packaging

In the PDM 2018 conference (sponsored by Distrupol), speakers from across UK plastics will tackle the most challenging issues facing the industry today. Keith Freegard, director, Axion Consulting will show how sustainable product design puts materials together into recyclable products that can be recovered at end of life.

The British Plastics Federation (BPF) Recycling Group will explain how to design a product to maximise resource efficiency. Logoplaste is to look at the future of recycled materials. There will be an update on world bioplastics technology and solutions for sorting non-clear packaging waste. Brexit and the Chinese import ban will also be covered and there will be a lively panel discussion on how the industry can improve plastic’s image.

Sumitomo (SHI) Demag UK will run a series of live four half-hour injection moulding workshops for process technicians and engineers over both days. “There is a serious skills shortage in the UK injection moulding industry and the easiest way to address it is to upskill our existing moulders to work with the latest equipment and techniques,” comments Nigel Flowers, the company’s managing director.

Elsewhere on the exhibition floor the Plastics Consultancy Network (PCN), which celebrates its 30th anniversary at PDM this year, will be running a Plastics’ Surgery. Visitors are invited to bring along questions they may have relating to plastics design and moulding and PCN’s consultants will be on hand to offer effective, creative and cost-effective advice and solutions.

Visitors also have the opportunity to discuss projects with over 90 exhibiting companies including rotational and blow moulding machinery suppliers, toolmakers, 3D printing and rapid prototyping specialists, moulders and mouldmakers, masterbatch specialists, software suppliers and materials testing specialists.

The YIZUMU makes its UK debut on the STV Machinery stand

Finnish bioplastics pioneer Aqvacomp makes its first appearance at PDM this year promoting its biocomposite with pulp fibre reinforcement for many different plastics. Luxus subsidiary Colour Tone will be sharing details of its rapid coloured polymer analysis service that tests for ‘end-of-life’ recyclability of non-clear packaging. It enables producers to discover if their plastics packaging can be detected via near-infrared (NIR) sorting. STV Machinery will be displaying the first working YIZUMI injection moulding machine to be shown in the UK. Negri Bossi and Borche will also be bringing new injection moulding machines to the show.

PDM 2018 is the perfect place for plastics and design professionals to network, learn and do business. Industry associations supporting PDM 2018 include: the BPF, plastics recycling organisation RECOUP, the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE), the Gauge & Toolmakers Association (GTMA) and the Scottish Plastics & Rubber Association.

 

The PDM 2018 exhibition and conference are both free to attend. For more information visit: www.pdmevent.com

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PDM Conference and Plastics Surgery Offer Free Design Expertise

Sustainable and reliable product design that is resource-efficient and prevents plastics pollution is a strong theme throughout this year’s PDM conference programme. Taking place at the Telford International Centre on 19 and 20th June 2018, the free-to-attend PDM conference will tackle a range of key topics pertinent to today’s plastics product designers and engineers. Delegates will be given updates on the latest performance polymers and processes which offer exciting new design possibilities, as well as practical advice on how patents and marques can be used to create differentiation.

Meanwhile on the exhibition floor, visitors can see the latest 3D printing technology and discuss their material, masterbatch and compound requirements with leading suppliers. A popular feature of previous shows that returns for 2018 is the Plastics Consultancy Network’s Plastics Surgery. Visitors are invited to bring along questions they may have relating to plastics design and moulding and PCN’s consultants will be on hand to offer effective, creative and cost-effective advice and solutions.

Conference Highlights for Designers:

Keith Freegard, Director, Axion Consulting

Putting circular thinking into practice will be tackled on day one by Keith Freegard, director, Axion Consulting. He will show how sustainable product design puts materials together into recyclable products in a way that means they can be recovered at end of life. He will be followed by Dr Andrew Hulme, principle consultant, Smithers Rapra who will explain how understanding the long term performance of a plastic material can help designers to predict the durability of a product.

In other sessions Jason Lessard, partner, HGF will advise how you can protect your competitive advantage in three simple steps and John Pearce, chief executive, Made in Britain will talk about the benefits of using the Made in Britain marque.

Material developments will be covered by Plastribution who will introduce the new Vistamaxx performance polymers and EMS-Chemie who will talk about the advantages of using EMS-GRIVORY long fibre technology.

Sustainability returns as a key theme for day two with Dr Terence Cooper, chief executive officer, ARGO Group International giving an update on world bioplastics technology. The British Plastics Federation (BPF) Recycling Group will explain how to design a product to maximise resource efficiency and Logoplaste will look at the future of recycled materials. The design challenge of finding a sustainable solution for non-clear packaging waste will be explored by Tony Gaukroger, director, Colour Tone Masterbatch.

Process innovations in adhesive bonding, assisted moulding technologies and rotational moulding techniques will be covered in the afternoon with expert speakers from the likes of 3M Centre, Helix Polymer, Uniqeroto and Rotomotive. They will highlight the new design opportunities provided by these developments and offer practical advice on increasing the reliability of designs. Dr Paul Shipton, consultancy director, Smithers Rapra will address the challenges of selecting plastics for use in medical devices and Pantone will look at the future of colour in the plastics industry. The full conference programme, sponsored by Distrupol, can be viewed on www.pdmevent.com

PDM 2018 is the perfect place for plastics and design professionals to network, learn and do business. Industry associations supporting PDM 2018 include: BPF, the Polymer Machinery Manufacturers and Distributors Association (PMMDA), plastics recycling organisation RECOUP, the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE), the Gauge & Toolmakers Association (GTMA) and the Scottish Plastics & Rubber Association.

The PDM exhibition and conference is free to attend. For more information on visiting or exhibiting visit: www.pdmevent.com

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Entries Open for 18th Plastics Industry Awards

Entries have opened for the 2018 Plastics Industry Awards, #PIA2018, which culminate in a glamorous, themed black tie gala evening with spectacular live entertainment at the London Hilton on Park Lane on Friday 28th September 2018. The deadline for online entry at www.plasticsawards.com is Thursday 31st May.

Now in their 18th year, the Plastics Industry Awards are organised and produced by Crain Communications and have been shortlisted in two categories in the Awards Awards 2018: Best Awards Event Production on the Night and Best Longstanding Awards Event.

Companies and individuals including product designers, OEM manufacturers, suppliers, plastics processors, consultants, trainees and apprentices from across the plastics sector in the UK and Republic of Ireland are encouraged to enter in 15 different award categories.

Design awards include separate categories for the plastic consumer and industrial products of the year as well as the prestigious Young Designer of the Year, the winner of which will receive a £1,000 prize, donated by Motan Colortronic. Environmental achievements are recognised in the best environmental or energy efficiency award and the best recycled plastic product category, sponsored by RECOUP.

“Winning the Plastic Industry Award for Best Consumer Product in 2017 was a hugely significant moment for our team of designers and a great boost for everyone else in the company as well,” said Johannes Paul, Marketing Director at Omlet. “As a growing and ambitious company, it’s given everyone a strong sense of achievement to be recognised in this way and the event itself was an exciting and fun evening.”

Individual awards include the Apprentice or Trainee of the Year and an Unsung Hero Award. The Apprentice or Trainee of the Year Award carries a prize of £500 donated by the Polymer Machinery Manufacturers and Distributors Association (PMMDA). For the Unsung Hero Award, organisations are invited to nominate a staff member who have gone above and beyond the call of duty in their day-to-day work life.

One of the most sought-after awards is the Processor of the Year trophy. There are also supplier partnership awards for prime and ancillary machinery, toolmakers and material suppliers. Categories recognising industry innovation include best business initiative, best training and development programme and best technology application. In addition, judges will choose the winner of the prestigious personal contribution award.

Table bookings for the gala dinner and awards ceremony are now available. Tickets include a champagne reception, four-course dinner, celebrity awards presentation and after-show entertainment.

“The Plastics Industry Awards have continually grown in popularity and prestige in the industry,” said Graeme Herlihy, Managing Director, Engel UK. “The calibre of the winners is a benchmark of the innovation in UK plastics. The ceremony is always a most enjoyable evening where business and pleasure can truly mix, and the entertainment has added that extra element to turn the whole show up to 11.”

Sponsors of the Plastics Industry Awards 2018 include Engel UK (Processor of the Year); Distrupol (Industrial Product Design); Hasco (Supplier Partnership – Toolmaker); Meusburger (Best Business Initiative); Motan Colortonic (Young Designer of the Year); RJG Technologies (Best Training and Development Programme); Plastikcity (Supplier Partnership – Ancillary Machinery) and Plastech Solutions (Consumer Product Design).

The awards also enjoy the support of industry associations including The BPF (British Plastics Federation), BIDA (British Industrial Design Association), PDM 2018 (Plastics Design & Moulding Event), PTIC (Polymer Training & Innovation Centre), RECOUP (Recycling of Used Plastics), The GTMA, SPE (Society of Plastics Engineers) and PMMDA (Polymer Machinery Manufacturers & Distributors Association).

Plastics Industry Awards Categories:

  • Consumer Product Design of the Year
  • Industrial Product Design of the Year
  • Young Designer of the Year
  • Best Recycled Plastic Product of the Year
  • Apprentice of the Year
  • Unsung Hero
  • Best Training & Development Programme of the Year
  • Best Technology Application of the Year
  • Best Environmental or Energy Efficiency Programme of the Year
  • Best Business Initiative of the Year
  • Processor of the Year
  • Supplier Partnership – Ancillary Machinery
  • Supplier Partnership – Materials
  • Supplier Partnership – Prime Machinery
  • Supplier Partnership – Toolmaker

For more information about the Plastics Industry Awards, visit: www.plasticsawards.com

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Four Hours of Free Hands-on Plastic Moulding Training at PDM 2018

At PDM 2018, the Plastics Design & Moulding exhibition and conference at The Telford International Centre, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag will run a series of live four half-hour injection moulding workshops over two days on Stand C026. Aimed at process technicians and engineers attending the exhibition on 19th and 20th June, anyone taking part in the PDM Training Courses can then register for a 10% discount on any training programme booked before 1st September at the Sumitomo (SHI) Demag Training Academy. Early registration for the free PDM workshops is advisable.

For the practical demonstrations, Academy trainers and process engineers James Hines and Darren Vater-Hutchison will use one of the company’s newest all-electric 50 tonne IntElect, guiding delegates through key topics to enhance precision, cycle times and component quality. “We are keen for people to put theory into practice using one of our flagship machines,” emphasises James.

The four half-hour courses, which will run consecutively on both days starting at 10.30, 12.00, 13.30, 15.00 offer a combination of practical and theory-based learning to enhance understanding or provide a refresh on:

  • How best to calculate clamp force
  • Achieving cavity balance and shot-to-shot consistency, providing comparisons when award-winning activeFlowBalance software is applied
  • How to calculate cooling time, with the opportunity to test out thermal imaging technology from Micro Epsilon
  • How to achieve greater repeatable process consistency on high precision parts with activeLock, with active closing of the non-return valve reducing the risk of rejects and waste

“There is a serious skills shortage in the UK injection moulding industry and the easiest way to address it is to upskill our existing moulders to work with the latest equipment and techniques,” comments Nigel Flowers, managing director of Sumitomo (SHI) Demag UK. “We encourage process technicians and engineers visiting PDM to take advantage of this opportunity.”

SDUK are currently in discussions with Northampton College to deliver Level II Apprenticeship in Polymer Operations. To discuss this or how the Apprenticeship levy can help your business in more detail please visit the stand.

PDM 2018 visitors will get a free taste of the workshops available at the SDUK Academy, plus 10% discount on any training course booked before 1st September.

Anyone taking part in the live training sessions will become eligible for a 10% discount on any training programme at the SDUK Training Academy in Daventry. Comprising a structured and progressive entry level to advanced engineer development programme, delegates and their employers have reported tangible productivity improvements and an increased sense of ownership and enthusiasm for their jobs.

This year SDUK added to their Academy programme launching a new four-day Mould Validation (MVal) course aimed at process technicians, which significantly helps to improve machine OEE reports James. “By following a structured approach to mould validation, customers quickly report that they are able to halve the number of tool trials before transferring over to production.” The first MVal course is in April with another scheduled for 17th September 2018.

To reserve a place on one of SDUK’s free PDM workshops, please email training.uk@dpg.com

PDM 2018 is the perfect place for plastics and design professionals to network, learn and do business. Industry associations supporting PDM 2018 include: the British Plastics Federation (BPF), plastics recycling organisation RECOUP, the Polymer Machinery Manufacturers and Distributors Association (PMMDA), the Gauge & Toolmakers Association (GTMA), the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) and the Scottish Plastics & Rubber Association.

The PDM Event exhibition and conference is free to attend, to register visit: www.pdmevent.com

 

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PDM Conference Programme Addresses Plastic’s Image

From Brexit and the Chinese import ban to the recent demonisation of plastics by media and politicians, the PDM 2018 conference programme will tackle the most challenging issues facing the industry today. Taking place at the Telford International Centre on 19 and 20th June 2018, the free-to-attend PDM conference will feature expert speakers from the British Plastics Federation (BPF) and Made in Britain and include a panel discussion on how the industry can improve plastic’s image.

Philip Law, Director General, BPF will provide an opening address on where the plastics industry is headed. Mike Baxter, Director of External Affairs, BPI will then present a session on the Chinese ban on plastic waste exports and the implications for the British recycling industry. He will be followed by Kinza Sutton, Marketing Manager, Plastipak who will explore why plastic has become “enemy number one,” looking at how myths and negativity being perpetuated by the media and politicians are affecting public opinion. Her presentation will remind delegates of the positive role plastic plays in our everyday lives, and call for a joined-up approach across the industry to redress the balance.

By way of example, the BPF recently issued a statement in a response to recent government announcements on plastic waste. It said: “We are very disturbed that the tone of language used does not recognise the important benefits that the plastics industry brings to the UK, including 170,000 jobs.

“Plastics themselves save energy. They are low carbon materials, crucial in the fight against climate change. Their light weight and durability cuts fuel consumption in vehicles and aircraft and reduces pollution. They provide protection for products and prevent food waste. By encouraging plastic-free aisles, the government is creating an impression that the use of plastics is inherently wrong. Typically, food waste in stores increases by a third without packaging. For example, a wrapped cucumber lasts 14 more days than one that is not. Cutting out plastic packaging for fresh produce will actually harm the environment through increased CO2 emissions because the energy used to produce food is much greater than in the packaging protecting it.”

Matt Barber, event director for the PDM Event says: “We have a really strong line-up of speakers who will not shy away from tackling the difficult issues facing the plastics industry. The conference sessions and panel discussion will provide an important opportunity for the industry to find solutions and set an agenda for action.”

Both upstream and downstream waste management solutions will be discussed during the conference. The Sustainability sessions on day two will include a presentation on stopping ocean plastics by Professor Ed Kosior, CEO and Head Consultant, Nextek, and another on the use of recycled materials in the future, led by Stephen, Mancey, CEO Europe, Logoplaste. In the Design and Differentiation sessions, Keith Freeguard, Director, Axion Consulting will explain the importance of “circular thinking” in sustainable product design.

PDM 2018 is the perfect place for plastics and design professionals to network, learn and do business. Industry associations supporting PDM 2018 include: the BPF, plastics recycling organisation RECOUP, the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE), the Gauge & Toolmakers Association (GTMA) and the Scottish Plastics & Rubber Association.

The PDM Event exhibition and conference is free to attend. For more information on visiting or exhibiting visit: www.pdmevent.com

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Manufacturers to Launch Moulding Machines at PDM 2018

Injection moulding machinery makers are set to launch new machines at PDM 2018, the plastics design and moulding exhibition and conference that returns to the Telford International Centre on 19 and 20th June 2018. STV Machinery will be exhibiting a Yizumi A5 series 260 tonne machine for two component moulding and an FE series 60 tonne all electric machine at PDM 2018, their first UK exhibition, while Borche Machinery UK has also confirmed it will bring the latest BS150 machine to the show.

Injecton Moulding Machine from Yizumi

Yizumi FE Series 60 Tonne Injection Moulding Machine

Founded in 2002, Yizumi is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of injection moulding machines, with over 2,500 employees and operations in more than 60 countries. STV Machinery has been operating in the UK plastics industry for many years, progressively expanding its range of products and services to include machine refurbishment, ancillary equipment and since June 2017 Yizumi injection moulding machines. The Yizumi range comprises: A5 Series toggle lock servo injection moulding machine with 60 to 2,600 tonne clamp, DP Series two-platen direct lock machines with 800 to 3,200 tonne clamp and FE Series all-electric machines with 60-260 tonne clamp. Visitors can see the Yizumi machines on the STV Machinery Stand B20 at PDM 2018.

Borche BS150 molding machie

Borche BS150 Injection Moulding Machine

 

Borche Machinery UK will also use its presence at PDM 2018 to demonstrate the highly successful Borche BS range of injection moulding machines, which are now well established in the UK market. Borche has quickly grown to be one of the largest injection moulding machine manufacturers in the world, producing over 10,000 machines per year. The BS Series of machines ranges from the BS60 to the BS1800 while the BU series of Intelligent Two Platen designed machines extends from 500 to 6800 tonne clamp force. Visitors can see the new Borche BS 150 injection moulding machines on Stand D018 at PDM 2018.

“I am delighted to welcome the global machinery brands of Yizumi and Borche to PDM 2018, broadening the choice available to UK injection moulders.” said Matt Barber, event director for the PDM Event. “As PDM returns to its traditional home of the Telford International Centre, the 2018 event is this year’s best opportunity to introduce new machines, innovations and technologies for the UK plastics design and moulding industry.”

Among the names that have recently confirmed their presence as exhibitors at PDM 2018 are Ampacet, Biesterfield, Caledonian Plastics, Connect 2 Cleanrooms, Distrupol, Faulkner Moulds, HASCO Internorm, Masterflow, Meusburger, RJG Technologies, Sprint Tool & Die Plastic, Recycling Van Werven, and Vanden Recycling. PDM 2018 is set to incorporate multiple elements of the plastics industry, with a focus on design, moulding, packaging and recycling. Exhibitors will include product design companies, moulding machinery suppliers, toolmakers, rapid prototyping specialists, moulders and mouldmakers, plastics recycling specialists, masterbatch specialists, software suppliers and materials testing specialists.

The free to attend PDM conference sponsored by Distrupol runs on both days of the event and will cover the latest in plastics design and manufacture including the image of plastics, the future of plastics including Brexit and sustainability, product design and materials innovation. Sessions will also cover process and rotomoulding.

PDM 2018 is the perfect place for plastics and design professionals to network, learn and do business. Industry associations supporting PDM 2018 include: the British Plastics Federation (BPF), plastics recycling organisation RECOUP, the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE), the Gauge & Toolmakers Association (GTMA) and the Scottish Plastics & Rubber Association.

The PDM Event exhibition and conference is free to attend, to register visit: www.pdmevent.com

Companies interested in exhibiting at PDM 2018 should contact:

Matt Barber, Tel: 01622 370570, Email: mabarber@crain.com or Darren Tindal, Tel: 01273 251277, Email: dtindal@crain.com

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