Plastics Technology

SEP 2018

Plastics Technology - Dedicated to improving Plastics Processing.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Robert Gattshall has more than 22 years of experi- ence in the injection molding industry and holds multiple certifications in Scientific Injection Molding and the tools of Lean Six Sigma. He has contributed articles for Plastics Technology and other magazines on multiple topics, such as scientific process development, process moni- toring and the effects of variation. Gattshall has developed several "Best in Class" Poka Yoke systems with third-party production and process monitoring such as Intouch Production Monitoring and RJG. He has held multiple management and engineering positions throughout the industry in automotive, medical, electrical and packaging production. Gattshall is also a member of the Plastics Industry Association's Public Policy Committee. As of January 2018, he joined the IPL Plastics team as process engineering manager. Contact: (262) 909-5648; • People as a Parameter: Trying to identify a "most important parameter" for a connected process like ours is absolutely impossible. There is not a most important parameter nor is there a most important piece of equipment. There is however one critical resource that is "the most important" and that is your team members. Your people, from technicians to operators to everyone else, are the most important. Whether we are discussing process devel- opment, process controls or technologies, the person setting up that job has the most influence on its success. Ensuring that you have a skilled, motivated and properly trained workforce is ulti- mately what will determine the quality of the product being sent to your customer. Investing in people as much if not more than you invest in equipment is critical to a safe and successful injection molding process. Think of it this way: If you decide to say that fill time is the most important process parameter and you apply tight control limits, someone still needs to turn those controls on. Someone needs to understand not only how to turn on the controls, but how to troubleshoot them when the equipment doesn't function properly. Much of our industry's training is focused on engineering and process-development skills, yet we still do not provide training apprenticeships for mold and setup technicians or even operators. We need standards similar to other skilled trades and a clear career path for our technical team members. I have spent many years in injection molding, working with all types of equipment and devel- oping processes and systems to monitor them. I can tell you that these systems can never replace a well-trained technician. Instead, they give them the tools needed to deliver best-in-class efficien- cies and part quality to our customers. One is not independent of the other. Like an injection molding process, our resources (equip- ment and team members) are a connected process and molders cannot be successful isolating them. @plastechmag 39 Plastics Technology I N J E C T I O N M O L D I N G MORE THAN JUST STORAGE! Manage your inventory Become better organized Protect your investment Create a safer working environment Our mold management systems are designed to save you space, time & money. GO FROM THIS TO THIS! Visit our website or give us a call to learn more about how we can help you with your die or mold management needs. 716.822.2804

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