Tool (Asset) Management
Tool Asset Management at Global Plastics
In the injection molding industry, the world “mold” and “tool” are often used interchangeably because the mold is in fact a tool used in the injection molding manufacturing process, and it’s created through machine tooling. At Global Plastics, we have our own full-service, in-house tooling department that manufactures (tools), maintains, and repairs your mold in order to extend its working life as long as possible.
This is accomplished by robust tool asset management (or mold asset management) to make sure there are no surprises such as suddenly not being able to use the mold for production runs. This industry term of tool asset management is important because it highlights the value of the mold—it is a critical asset in the manufacturing process, and we treat it as the serious investment your company made in it. We also leverage several different state-of-the-art tool asset management software apps for superior care of your mold over its entire life cycle.
Mold Asset Management Keeping Return on Investment in Mind
Global Plastics is passionate about tool asset management because it’s the best and only way to avoid the kinds of surprises that can result in very unpleasant situations. If your company gets a huge order for something that requires a new round of high-volume production injection molding using a mold that hasn’t been used in a while, there are all kinds of things that can go wrong if the tooling partner is subpar. One would be having trouble even finding the mold. Another would be launching a production without first giving it a thorough inspection to discover if it needs any repairs or refurbishment before use, in which case you might discover defects in the plastic parts produced that make them unusable.
The nightmare scenarios above will never happen when you partner with Global Plastics because one aspect of our good reputation comes from a “no surprises” approach to tool mold asset management. We serve both your injection molding and mold tooling needs, including tool asset management through our full-service, in-house tooling department. Our organizational systems and asset management software keeps meticulous track of the exact location of every mold so we always know exactly where it is at any given moment. We use that software to also keep track of a mold in motion—recording when it’s removed from storage; when and where it’s being inspected, maintained, or refurbished; when and where it’s in use for a production run on a shop floor; and recording when (or if) it is returned to storage.
Each time a mold is removed from storage it is first inspected to see if any work needs to be done on it before using it for a production run. After it has been used, it must again be carefully inspected to see what its status will become, such as reusable as is and return to storage; in need of reconditioning before being returned to storage; or too worn out to be repaired and it must be discarded/scrapped and a new mold made. Our mold asset management software apps keep a detailed tracking record so we (and you) always know where each mold is as well as its current condition and usage history.
What are the Components of an Effective Tool Asset Management Program?
- How many assets do you have?
- Where is each of the assets located?
- What’s the condition of each asset?
- When should the assets be replaced?
- What’s the program for maintaining your assets?
- Is there a work order system to track events on assets when issues arise?
The information and data generated by answering these questions allows for a predictive service model that can reduce downtime, keep the annual tool asset service budget reasonable, maximize mold availability, and extend its overall life cycle.
Tool Refurbishment, Rebuilding, and Spare Parts
When a mold needs some work in order to continue being used in production runs, the choices tend to be either rebuilding or refurbishing. Rebuilding means reusing the mold base but replacing all mold wear components and surfaces. Refurbishing typically involves only partial replacement or repair of mold surfaces and all wear components.
Rather than ordering spare parts on an as-needed basis, which could result in production delays, Global Plastics can also develop and manage an inventory of spare parts for each mold for better planning and rapid response when a spare part is needed. Developing, maintaining, and tracking an inventory of spare parts is another aspect of our “no surprises” approach to mold asset management. Tool failure doesn’t need to spell total disaster on a project if we have the spare parts ready to go at any moment.
Benefits of a Robust Mold Asset Management Program
- Universal rules for tool use, maintenance, reconditioning, and storage.
- Centralizing management of mold assets.
- Accountability for the condition of tooling assets.
- Automated inventory control.
- Data-driven predictive maintenance.
- Increase the value of mold assets since an extended life translates into more output.
- Planned maintenance events and costs as opposed to emergency responses.
- Establish standardized processes for tool repair, reconditioning (rebuilding or refurbishing), decommissioning, and reordering.
- Preventing manufacturing bottlenecks with better planning that includes adequate lead times.
- Extend tool life through better understanding between purchasing departments and shop floor users.
- Better visibility into an effective tool database for collaborative solutions.
- Reducing errors through better access to critical information in a supporting documents library.
- Avoiding a tool crisis on the shop floor.
- Rapid-response problem-solving.
- Capability of supporting ISO certification with proper documentation.
With a solid tool asset management program, your company reduces the risks to its investment in mold assets, strengthens its overall manufacturing processes, and increases the return on investment you get over the longest life cycle possible for each mold.
Global Plastics: Your Trusted Mold Asset Management Partner
You’d be surprised how many tooling managers are still using manual log books or Excel spreadsheets to keep track of molds. There are also plenty of injection molding service providers who will tell you they’ve got software for tool asset management. Whether or not they actually use it or know how to leverage it into a truly robust mold asset management program is another thing entirely.
At Global Plastics, we pride ourselves on getting the most out of our asset management software in order to deliver a superior tailored asset management solution to each and every customer client. Feel free to get in touch with us through the contact us page of our website to learn more about how Global Plastics can meet not only your injection molding needs, but also your tool asset management requirements.