MMT Blog

Posted by: Christina M. Fuges 7. December 2016

ISO Q&A

As Lewis Yasenchak wraps up his 2016 Keeping Up with ISO column this month, he has a few more  items to share that we were unable to fit on the pages of MMT. I decided we'll serve up his additional insight in some upcoming blogs. Below is a recommended business assessment form you can use to determine where you stand with ISO 9001 certification.

Within section 4.0 of the ISO 9001: 2015 revised standard, companies must answer the following questions as they relate to the company by responding: No, Have nothing in place or not planned, No, Planned, but not yet documented, Yes, developed, but not fully documented or implemented or Yes, documented and fully implemented.                                                                                                               

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The past 12 months were not only spent battling ongoing moldmaking challenges, but also brought to light new moldmaking challenges, as well as new product and equipment enhancements to help face them head on.  

Automation. Smaller shops investing in automation while larger shops are evaluating six-axis robots versus traditional automated configurations to increase automation flexibility. Fully automated milling of hardened mold inserts is the next level of automation in moldmaking. A growing trend in machine-side systems robots for placing inserts in molds, labeling, part removal, etc.  and collaborative robots that interact safely with humans. 

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In last Friday’s blog I alerted everyone about the Autodesk webinar that will occur on Wednesday, December 7, at 2 p.m. EST. The webinar, titled “Validating Your Mold: Making Good, Informed Decisions with Moldflow,” will show the value of data generated using Moldflow and how that data drives better decision making about mold design. I also let readers know that Gardner Business Media has an Intelligence Team that works hard to provide valuable data about the moldmaking industry and related subjects that can guide sound business decisions. Today I’m going a step further and suggesting some reading on data-driven manufacturing and what it means for moldmaking.

How do you use data in your business? Everyone uses it to some degree in the way they manage people and the “heat, light and music” stuff (a.k.a. overhead) that every company contends with. But how far does your company take data? Do you apply it to shop floor operations, and if so, how? Is your company considering how Industry 4.0 might benefit future growth and profitability? Maybe you are already moving in that direction because a valued customer wants your company to do it. Or perhaps you don’t understand how it applies to your business.

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Join MoldMaking Technology on Wednesday, December 7, at 2 p.m. EST for a free webinar presented by Autodesk. Titled “Validating Your Mold: Making Good, Informed Decisions with Moldflow,” learn how data collected using Moldflow can help optimize mold performance and reduce cycle times.

Data speaks volumes and is one of the best tools for business management. Data-driven manufacturing is becoming more and more important to mold manufacturers because the numbers don’t lie. Instead they paint an accurate picture of the who, what, where, when and why of various processes and they provide the basis for many continuous improvement initiatives. Webinar attendees will learn:

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Mold manufacturing operations have a number of challenges in the “soft areas” of running their operations.  Back in the day, moldmakers never had to worry about scheduling software and ERP.  Today, the shops that are succeeding are the ones tracking data internally, analyzing it and using it to make decisions in their operations.  This involves implementation of more sophisticated programs to manage production, track data and perform predictive analysis.  All of this technology is allowing moldmakers to understand their business better and sharpen their quoting activities to bring more value to their customers.

Fourteen years ago MMT took a look at ERP because even then it was a concept "simply too compelling to ignore." Mark Bosse of IQMS outined the top 10 things a moldmaker should do to make sure its next ERP purchase is the right one, including setting realistic goals, choosing software to your industry or manufacturing type, choosing a vendor that knows your industry, choosing an ERP that natively integrates the features you need, buy to waht your needs will be in a year and beyond, select an ERP system that is intuitive and easy to use, get a guarantee, have an implementation team in place, invest in training and don't be afraid to ask questions.

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