Get the most out of expensive kit
09 June 2022
Manufacturers using specialty tooling, custom metal dies and distinct moulds within their operations are familiar with the operational challenges that come along with the precision manufacturing process.
WITH DEMAND for a wider variety of parts on the rise, manufactures are running shorter jobs. This requires more changeovers, and changeovers take time. Quick changes and fast setups are critical to maximising uptime. This requires an efficient tool, die and mould storage and handling process to easily locate, safely move and quickly change to the next tool, die or mould.
The first step to locating a tool, die or mould is to know where it is stored within the facility. To easily locate, tools, dies and moulds should be assigned a dedicated storage location; thus, you know where it is every single time. Even when you know where it is, it can take a while to get there. Due to their weight, tools, dies and moulds are often stored out in the open and directly on the floor – they take up a significant amount of space and workers sometimes must walk long distances to the location.
Consider a solution that can store these tools, dies and moulds vertically. Automates storage and retrieval systems are designed to hold heavy weights and can provide compact square footage. This frees up space within your facility for other value-added activities (such as more manufacturing). Further, stored tools, dies and moulds can be presented to the worker with the push of a button – no walking and searching for the tool, die or mould on the floor.
Once the desired tool, die or mould is located it then needs to be moved from the storage area to the location of the machine. There are several types of cranes and ergonomic lifting devices available that can be used to get the tool, die or mould out of storage and onto your chosen method of transport (forklift, manual or automated cart or trolley).
When thinking about moving the tool, die and mould from storage to production you want to reduce handling as much as possible as there is opportunity for worker injury and product damage with extensive handling. Find an ergonomic solution that protects the worker and safeguards the part from damage.
Once you get the tool, die, mould to the production area you have the task of removing the current one from the machine and replacing it with the new one from storage. This can be a highly technical process that takes time. The faster you can locate and get the new tool, die or mould to the production area the faster the change can occur.
Once the change is done, you now have the task of returning the previously used tool, die or mould to storage. This opens up another opportunity for worker injury and part damage (which leads to maintenance costs, part quality problems and lost production).
Simple automated solutions can extend the life of expensive tools, dies and moulds by reducing excessive contact and handling. Keeping tools, dies and moulds in peak condition and available with a push of a button helps keep production runs on schedule.
To learn more about how you can extend the life of your tools, dies and moulds visit our website at www.kardex.com or contact Kardex direct at info.remstar.uk@Kardex.com