How Proper Purging Procedures Promote Lean Manufacturing


Banish-Costly-Plastics-Processing-IssuesThermoplastic molding companies and other manufacturers are under constant pressure to streamline operations, increase efficiency and cut costs.

As such, many manufacturers have embraced lean manufacturing, Six Sigma or Total Quality Management. While these methodologies have different names, the core principle is the same: reducing wasted time and resources to increase output and profits.

There are numerous ways for companies to apply lean manufacturing principles to their injection molding processes, including applying scientific molding practices and finding ways to trim seconds off of mold time.  These tactics, like improved purging processes, have the goal of reducing scrap, increasing output and decreasing downtime.

Are you using lean manufacturing in your molding operations? Have you considered how purging procedures impact your efficiency?

Discover how your purging processes impact your ability to effectively execute lean manufacturing principles in your thermoplastic molding and extrusion operations.

Purging Procedures Impact Your Raw Material Waste Reduction

In lean manufacturing, your primary goal is to reduce waste. Every aspect of your operations is geared toward waste reduction. Your approach to purging your machines of resins and colors directly impacts raw material waste.

For instance, are you using purging compounds when you purge your machines? If you’re still relying solely on natural resins to purge other resins and colors from your machines, you may not be cleaning them out as effectively as you could be. This could lead to contamination or deposit formation.

When deposits build up, defective components occur more frequently, leading to more material scrap.

Using a purging compound to clean your machines means deposits build up more slowly, leading to waste reduction.

Purging Procedures Impact Uptime

Lean manufacturing also calls for more efficient production. In other words, you’re wasting less time, labor and machine uptime.

Your overall approach to purging impacts your ability to produce efficiently. For instance, your need for productivity might motivate you to wait until you notice deposits forming to clean your machines, or even wait until the machine requires a screw pull and manual cleaning. Your scrap rates and customer rejects are surely higher than ideal, leading to longer production runs and poor customer relationships.

Using an appropriate purging compound proactively, before carbon build-up, frees up more machine and production uptime.

How A ‘Lean’ Approach To Purging Impacts Your Profits

One automotive molder positively impacted its bottom line by adopting leaner purging processes. The company had been using 100 pounds of polypropylene and pulling screws during each purge. This resulted in an average of 22.5 hours of downtime per machine per month.

By transitioning to a purging process that used 15 pounds of ASACLEAN EX grade purging compound and 10 pounds of nylon, the company successfully removed screw pulls from the process, saving an average of $559 per changeover and increasing machine uptime by 180 hours per month. This process change saves the company over $252,000 per year.

Finding more efficient ways to accomplish necessary processes and acquiring materials that help save time and money fuels lean manufacturing. When applying lean principles to your injection molding processes, consider the impact your purging processes have on your overall profitability.

Learn more about how purging compounds impact your production efficiency.

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