Making Injection Molding Components To Meet Varying Demands
With the increased cost of capital goods, higher levels of automation, the need for inventory “turns” and other capital management, B & B Molded Products has structured its injection molding components production to support multi-shift operation. This capability can be scaled or turned on and off as demands for our products change.
This is a key value we provide as companies move their production back from far-flung, difficult-to-manage manufacturing resources. However, not all facilities can manage in this changing environment. This ability requires solving a key problem: The potential for low cooperation and coordination between shifts which often have entirely different management teams, and no “overlap” to ensure smooth transitions. To counteract this tendency we ensure that all quality and operating procedures are consistent and are followed with the same rigor between shifts. We also have created the ability to continue continuous process improvements across all shifts, even if all staffing (i.e. a quality manager) is not present. This includes later shifts in decision-making and contributions to improvements since our communication approaches are implemented across all shifts to lessen the opportunities for errors.
Our push to ensure a more integrated and consistent level of production and quality across a multi-shift injection molding production environment has been most successful with this balanced, team-oriented approach. This helps coordinate the production system as a whole and ensure all elements are working toward the same goals with the same incentives and the same results. Cross-training, shift “sharing” and consistent and fair scheduling are just some of the tools we use to accomplish this.