Cumberland Plastic Solutions

Case Study

Quality driven Cumberland Plastics Solutions had 2 major concerns before installing Intouch:

1) Working at near capacity, every loss had a detrimental production knock on effect – they are now alerted as soon as problems happen and 100% accurate reports allow them to pinpoint and fix losses. 

2) Wasting labour – they are now able to save many precious man hours as they no longer need to write down data and manually comb through it.

Located in the heart of America’s Industrialised South, Cumberland Plastic Solutions has an impressive facility with 33 injection moulding machines catering to the automotive, lawn and garden, building, construction and industrial sectors.

As part of Cumberland’s mission and to ensure that they have one of the most modern fleets in the industry, they installed Intouch in 2022:

“To be successful, we will provide our customers with the highest total value by continuously striving for quality excellence at the best possible cost”

UP AND RUNNING IN 2 WEEKS

The set-up process was easy and within 2 weeks of first contacting Intouch, they were up and running and the Cumberland operators fully familiarised with how to use the system.

CLOUD BASED – NO SERVER NEEDED

Dion Peoples, Plant Manager of Cumberland Plastic Solutions talks about the set up: ‘It’s very straightforward – the other upsell to me was it wasn’t overly complicated.

It’s also cloud based so we don’t need a server set up internally and all the additional hardware expense to get the system up and running.

ANY PRODUCTION PROBLEMS CAUSED KNOCK-ON ISSUES 

One of the biggest production issues for Cumberland has been that as plant that is running at near capacity utilisation, every loss has a considerable detrimental knock-on effect.

‘For example, if we set up a tool that is running 20 seconds too slow because somebody forgot to adjust the robot speed, that means we lose 20% of the expected production for that day‘.

It’s frustrating when you know that time is the utmost value and you’re losing it whether from long start up times, changeovers or inaccurate cycle times. These issues soon mount up and is detrimental when you’re as busy as we are and the utilisation is high – so every hour, every minute counts. 

With Intouch  ‘The live machine status in conjunction with the shift profile means we can go back and actually see what the alarms were, the downtime issue and the reasons’

CAPTURE PRODUCTION DATA AND NOT RELY ON HUMANS

‘Just being able to capture all the data and not rely on a human to record the downtimes and the scrap. So it has been a big benefit to us to more accurately capture what our OEE is. Before, if a machine was down for 30 minutes, but a person forgot to write it down and only puts in 15 minutes, that is 15 minutes lost that isn’t easy to track. We did our best using spreadsheets and access databases to input all the shift information. Someone had to also comb through the data which was inaccura.te and a very intensive manual process’

With labour being such a precious resource, Dion is happy that his team isn’t wasting time noting down and combing through data.

‘Intouch does this all for you. The data lets us see where the deficiencies are so that we know where we need to focus our attention. We have found out for example that our mold changeovers aren’t necessarily taking that long, but once the changeover is complete, we’re losing a lot of time starting the tool and getting the machine back going. So we know where to focus our efforts and making improvements’.

‘Being able to see cycle time variations is very important from a continuous improvement point of view, we’re always looking to optimise and improve any cycle times because we need the machine hours. And when you’re able to see something that’s either out or running slow, we can go and try to optimise it and have off 2 to 3 seconds’

Although it is still early days of using Intouch, Dion says that the staff also love the planning module because ‘they love the drag and drop rearrangement. It’s seamless and on the fly’

By the end of this year Cumberland will increase its fleet to 40 machines.

As Dion told his team : ‘the cost of the system is well worth it and that it will pay for itself.;