IMM Plant Tour Workshop Tops the Charts

Over 45 moldmaking professionals met in Twinsburg, OH, on November 10th to explore the inventive ways Industrial Mold & Machine (IMM) uses 21st century technology.

More than 45 moldmaking professionals met in Twinsburg, OH, on November 10th to explore the inventive ways Industrial Mold & Machine (IMM) uses 21st century technology and advancements in social media to engage the next generation workforce. As part of the Plant Tour Workshop Series from the American Mold Builders Association (AMBA), Rolling Meadows, IL, the workshop at IMM gave participants an eye-opening look at how the goal of “instant information” works on the production floor.

Titled “Innovative Knowledge Management Systems – How Productivity, Quality and Customer Service Improve when Everyone is on the Same (iPad) Page”, the IMM tour demonstrated how sales staff, CNC machinists, programmers and seven apprentices utilize 19 iPads (and still counting) to access a social network created by IMM. The network, dubbed IMM Connect, contains everything from employee handbooks and MSDS sheets to logout/tagout information and details about each job that runs within the shop. Employees use iPads from wherever they are to log into IMM’s social network and view current jobs running on the production floor or to prepare for the next job. Each job has its own page on the network, containing the steps that need to be taken to produce that piece, detail drawings in both 2D and 3D and programming sheets.

After the tour, critical cross-talk occurred between IMM staff and tour participants, providing the opportunity for best practices exchange between industry peers. According to IMM President Wendy Wloszek, “IMM continues to move forward to become a resource for others who want to move toward a technology-based workflow.” The next step is an interface that will allow IMM’s social network to pull data points from the company’s ERP system for clean and quick delivery of critical information. For Wloszek, iPads and social networks are part of a necessary culture shift. “The apprentices we have now – the people who will be the future of IMM – come from the technology generation,” said Wloszek. “We’re starting this now to prepare the company for the next generation workforce.”

The next AMBA Plant Tour Workshop will take place at M.S.I. Mold Builders in Cedar Rapids, IA, in early March. Look for details on programming and registration coming soon at www.amba.org.

 

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