Tips on Managing Your Total Cost Per Purge: Price, Performance & Data Collection

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Processing Data for Purging Compounds

Commercial purging compounds are designed for maximizing production efficiency by minimizing downtime and scrap. To get the most out of your purge, it is important to measure performance--up front and over time. Many processors at the larger organizations have a tendency to focus solely on price per pound. Which is a short-sighted mistake. Here's why.

Without data, a lower expense up front can blindly take precedence over actual performance.This then becomes the sole driver for the purchasing decision. As with many similar situations, this originates in the absence of data. Decision makers then incorrectly assume then rule that cheaper is probably better. If not better, it may be viewed as "good enough."  Good enough should never been seen as good enough.

To prove otherwise, the purging compound's day-to-day users (typically Process Engineers and Technicians) must take a deeper look by tracking and recording the relevant data. With this, a side-by-side cost comparison between purging methods and materials is possible. This provides an ongoing bottom line look at true costs and maximum savings potential, independent of lower cost per pound.

To get started, an understanding of the following factors are key:

  • Machine Rate or Running Cost per Hr.
  • Machine Downtime (Hrs.)
  • Purge Materials $/Lb.
  • Production Resins $/Lb.
  • Cost of Off-Spec or Start Up Scrap (Unit $ Cost)
  • Changeovers Per Day/Operating Days Per Week/ # of Operating Weeks Per year

What I often find during our 10-minute consultations is the processor looking for assistance does not have all this information readily available. They have the big picture, but they need more information to improve performance! Because color or material changes are taking too long, and the scrap is continually piling up. Job performance objectives are measured on these critical metrics, but the other detailed operating cost information can be masked or simply unknown.

So where do we turn?

Having worked in manufacturing plants for many years, this is my favorite bit of advice. Find out the 'unknowns' by calling upon other department resources within the organization.  Your co-workers in accounting cost estimating, engineering and/or purchasing, will surely have the information needed to fill in any blanks.

Once known, we plug these numbers into a Cost Savings Analysis or CSA tool. The side-by-side comparisons show the cost per purge and total savings realized. What becomes evident is the perceived or assumed lower cost purge method or material, is actually costing your company more! We can prove it…

We are here to fully support you and your purging program, making sure it is the best it can be! Our objective is to support your objectives by maximizing production efficiency, minimizing machine downtime and reducing scrap. Let us provide you with the tools and purging compound materials to best achieve a proven lower total cost per purge.

Learn about the importance of implementing proper purging procedures by downloading this free industry guide.

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Topics: Injection Molding, Plastics Processing, Production Efficiency, Plastics Production, Extrusion Lines, Extrusion Purging, extrusion troubleshooting, plastics manufacturing, extrusion die, purging injection molding, single screw extrusion, extruder, high temperature resins, super engineering resins

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