CASE STUDIES

Tex Plastics

Tex Plastics become paperless and increase efficiency thanks to new intouch system

Tex Plastics are an innovative and precision moulding business focussed on proactively seeking ways to help their clients reduce their costs.

For over 45 years they have been delivering value for their customers, adopting a customer-centric approach, which has led to long lasting partnerships with their customers.

Tex Plastics become paperless and increase efficiency thanks to intouch system

Tex have an enviable reputation for offering specialist Plastic Injection Moulding solutions at the highest quality. They support customers from concept to production, which includes prototyping, mould making, validation and high-volume production.

They specialise in supporting customers in the medical, Life critical, electronics, building and interiors and construction and exteriors industry segments.

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Overview

With a focus on quality and cost for their clients, Tex were looking to enhance and improve their current production processes and efficiencies.

Tex were looking to improve overall efficiencies with a particular focus on real-time visibility across their operations, to enable them to reduce downtime, and facilitate faster response times when there was a problem in production and reduce scrap.

Overarching goal for Tex Plastics

Tex Plastics were grappling with challenges such as unexpected downtimes and a lack of actionable real-time data. The need was to identify and address production issues swiftly and be more proactive in their downtime management.

Tex wanted to improve their measurement of scrap across all their production, with a view to reducing waste throughout the system.  Although the business was efficient and focussed on quality for their customers, they recognised that manual data collecting methods were slowing their ability to improve their efficiencies.

With pressures on operating costs and materials for production, Tex were keen to improve and increase throughput for all their production lines, but not at the expense of quality. The goal was to reduce lead times and maintain their high-quality customer service.

Seeking a solution and a partner that reflects their values

Following a comprehensive assessment of the solutions on the market, Kevin Payne, Operations Director for Tex Plastics, selected Intouch, who they felt not only reflected their own values to customer service, but a technology that is intuitive and could easily be implemented and trusted by their operators and team.

In 2023, Kevin, implemented the Intouch system, tailored to integrate with Tex’s existing machinery of varying ages. The focus was on enabling real-time monitoring of press cycle times and scrap production, distinguishing start-up scrap/costs from general production scrap/costs.

Stakeholder Engagement: This phase involved close collaboration with Tex’s teams to ensure the solution was aligned with their production goals and to address specific challenges effectively.

The Solution

Real-Time Monitoring: The Intouch system provided a real-time monitoring dashboard, alerting operators to any issues such as machine downtime thanks to the large displays located within each manufacturing cell (zone), allowing operators to respond quicker and ultimately reduce overall downtime.

Scheduling: The real-time scheduling module enables TEX to get an overview of their capacity, so that in the event of downtime, the team can identify bottlenecks within the live GANTT chart and re-organise works orders to prevent jobs from running overdue, keeping their customers satisfied.

Reporting: The OEE reports are used within the daily production meetings at TEX Plastics, which can be accessed by the click of a button. Previously this data would have been manually calculated using paper production sheets.

The time that is now saved means that the team can now effectively analyse the reports to put corrective actions in place where necessary, and further use the data to justify investments and changes.

Examples of how tracking production has improved process and quality

The Intouch system allows the whole production team to monitor production scrap and production output in real time, leading to a faster response time to fix any issues or inefficiencies which may arise.

The real time monitoring allows for instant capturing of press cycle times, resulting in output being maintained at the correct speed, which alongside the scheduling module, highlights any works orders which are due to overrun, and enables the team to intervene, leading to them consistently meeting customer delivery targets.

Kevin Payne, Operations Director at Tex Plastics, said that “the system has enabled us to reduce/remove our daily production sheets, so that we are now paperless, this means the data is always up to date and accessible anywhere in the world”

Kevin also highlighted the benefit of recording production scrap digitally, enabling them to review the root cause and put corrective measures in place to reduce scrap, and as a result they have ultimately managed to increase efficiency and profitability.

ISO 13485:2016 approval

Tex Plastics operate 2 separate clean-room facilities, and the Intouch system enables the team to monitor production within these rooms without the need to apply the mandatory PPE and keep the risk of contamination to an all-time low, which is a testament to their recent ISO 13485:2016 approval and proves Tex’s commitment to quality.

Kevin said, “We can monitor our start up scrap / costs and separate this cost from our general production run scrap / costs and any high levels of scrap can now be acted on through a shift as is real time.”

“Slow cycle times are now highlighted and can be challenged, ensuring production costings are met and customer delivery times are met.

The data generated by Intouch is used to highlight operator, tool or press faults leading to improvement actions being generated.”

Dan Herbert, Production Planner at Tex Plastics said ‘Before Intouch was implemented, we were using a T-card system, which was slow, not very accurate and it was easy to make mistakes. Whereas now everything is visible, everyone is working to the same plan, and everything is available at our fingertips.

Dan continues to explain that he can now easily pre-load unique TPP numbers onto the system, which allows him to generate a work-to-list that he shares within his daily production meetings, which saves a lot of time.

Dan also said, “I find intouch very easy and intuitive to use”, an important factor when choosing a production monitoring system.

The Outcome

Enhanced Production Efficiency and Cost Savings: The implementation led to a significant reduction in machine downtime and operational costs, with instant capturing of issues and quicker repair times.

The system enabled Tex Plastics to monitor and act on various production parameters in real-time. This approach not only helped in maintaining production standards but also facilitated ongoing improvements based on operator, tool, or press performance data.

Client Satisfaction and Future Opportunities: Tex Plastics experienced an improvement in overall production efficiency and customer satisfaction.

The success of this project established Intouch Monitoring as a go-to provider for manufacturing monitoring systems, paving the way for future engagements in the sector.

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