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This episode is brought to you by ISCAR with New Ideas for Machining Intelligently.

In this 20-minute conversation, Metro Mold & Design's Vice President Ben Lampron, Director of Operations Rob Hendel and Quality Leader Paula Rush join me to discuss customer service, cross-training, communication, COVID and much more.  

Here are a few takeaways to whet your appetite:

  • Located in the Metro area of Minneapolis with two facilities—commercial and industrial plastics as well as another division down the road focused on the medical industry.
  • Specializes in blow molding, thermoset molding and thermoplastic injection molding.
  • “We are not afraid to say no.  We really focus on our top customers and understand their needs.”
  • Everybody from the operator on the floor, all the way up to my office, are fully focused on those top customers in their day-to-day operations and their needs. By doing that, we eliminate the noise.
  • MMD’s quality system, including procedures and work instructions, take the team’s knowledge and expertise and standardize it into those documents.
  • Cross-training is vital. MMD encourages employees to train in areas that are not their main area of work.
  • Automation on the mold building side is not so much robots running around, but an automatic iteration process.
  • Recent investment on the molding side includes high-speed, autonomous robots with sonic radar and cameras, traveling the floor. They can be cobots.
  • More than the labor savings is enable people to work on more useful, technical jobs.
  • Automation means a precise transaction; it's done right the first time.
  • You're gonna get 80% of your results for 20% of the inputs.
  • The 80/20 rule forces MMD to say, “If we're going to focus on the 80s and give less attention to the 20s, that's a conscious choice.
  • We figure out what can we put our brainpower,  money and resources in to have the greatest impact for our customers.
  • Getting rid of layers and being more transparent to the customer just makes MMD give them service that they're not used to.
  • Tool transfers can be one of the most challenging things to do. The key is making sure that the team thoroughly understands customer expectations. Then in-house advanced inspection capabilities allow MMD to analyze what comes out of the mold. Next MMD communicates regularly and openly with the customer.
  • Mold builders are not unicorns, but close. So our top challenge right now is finding skilled labor, so we grow talent from within.
  • MMD identifies candidates internally, develops a curriculum, and puts them on a career path.
  • Moving forward MMD is going to become more of an extended arm of its customers’ businesses.

Watch the full video chat above, and for more of our archived MMT Chat conversations, click here.

This episode is brought to you by ISCAR with new ideas for Machining Intelligently.