CLIENT: Milacron, a global leader in the manufacturing, distribution, and service of highly engineered equipment within the plastics technology and processing industry, was first-to-market with “M-Powered”, a full suite of IIoT applications based on ei3.
Milacron has several facilities that manufacture parts for their injection molding machines all around the world. The Mount Orab facility located in Southwest Ohio has over 100 different production machines on the shop floor (including original Milacron metalworking machines), and like a typical manufacturing facility is always looking for ways to optimize their machine capacity.
Taking a bit of their own medicine, Milacron executives decided to apply M-Powered to the Mount Orab facility
In late 2019 the team began connecting a wide variety of machines to the M-Powered system, such as an arc welder, a Mori Seki grinder, a Campbell grinder, a Milacron Magnum grinder, a Weingartner whirler, and a 1955 Milacron grinding machine. No question when the M-Powered team says it can connect all types of equipment, this is what is meant – all types of equipment.
Develop baseline of productivity for all machines
The machines were allowed to run for a few months to develop the baseline of productivity on the machines. The M-Powered team then trained the operators for the specific equipment on the M-Powered system to illustrate the ability to monitor the machine’s performance and availability on a daily basis. The first month after training, the Mount Orab management team was able to see nearly immediate improvements in the machine availability.
Like most machine shops, the Mount Orab team planned out a structure of their downtime events that would impact and not impact the OEE. Planned downtime events included – In Process Check, Tool Check, Part Changes and Setups, while unplanned events included items like Maintenance, Material Issues, Meetings, Personal Needs, and Tooling Issues. By and large significant improvement was observed in the first two months following the training period, compared with the previous baseline period.
The M-Powered team normally tell a new customer they will experience between a 5-10% OEE improvement in the first year, but the improvement in Mount Orab was exceptional, showing that significant manufacturing gains are still possible in even the most mature facilities.
• Arc Welder – 30% Improvement in Availability
• Mori Seki Grinder – 33% Improvement in Availability
• Campbell Grinder – 25% Improvement in Availability
• Milacron Magnum Grinder – 40% Improvement in Availability
• Weingartner Whirler – 15% Improvement in Availability
• 1955 Milacron Grinder – 33% Improvement in Availability
So what changed?
The operations teams were held accountable to their results from a single source of truth and reasons for machine stoppages were called into question. The Operations team knew their goals for availability, and they understood what they needed to achieve these results. By and large the focus of the M-Powered tool was driving improved productivity through a reduction in downtime events.