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How to Calculate Downtime in the Injection Mold Industry

Optimizing Efficiency: Calculating Downtime for Injection Molders

In the injection mold industry, minimizing downtime is crucial for maintaining productivity, meeting production schedules, and maximizing profitability. Downtime refers to the period during which equipment is not producing parts due to interruptions or maintenance. It includes periods of equipment breakdowns, changeovers, material shortages, and other factors that halt production. This important KPI serves as a critical metric for assessing equipment reliability and identifying opportunities for improvement. This guide will explore:

  • how to calculate downtime in the injection mold industry
  • classifying downtime categories, highlight its importance
  • discuss why a production monitoring system is essential

How to Calculate Downtime in the Injection Molding Industry

Calculating downtime in the injection mold industry involves the following steps:

  1. Define Downtime Categories: Identify and classify different types of downtime events. Some common downtime causes include equipment failures, changeovers, material shortages, and maintenance activities.
  2. Record Downtime Events: Keep a log of downtime events. This includes the start and end times, reasons for downtime, and duration of each event.
  3. Aggregate Downtime: Summarize downtime data for a specific period. Some common periods include a shift, day, or week. Separating periods into different units can help manufacturers determine total downtime and its distribution across different categories.
Classifying Downtime Categories
  1. Equipment Failures: Downtime caused by unplanned equipment breakdowns, malfunctions, or mechanical issues.
  2. Changeovers: Downtime incurred during machine setup, mold changes, or product changeovers.
  3. Material Shortages: Downtime resulting from material depletion, supply chain disruptions, or material changeovers.
  4. Maintenance Activities: Planned downtime for preventive maintenance, repairs, or equipment servicing.
Downtime’s Importance in Injection Molding
  1. Performance Monitoring: Downtime provides insights into equipment performance, reliability, and overall production efficiency.
  2. Root Cause Analysis: By analyzing downtime data, manufacturers can identify root causes of production interruptions and implement corrective actions.
  3. Capacity Utilization: Monitoring downtime helps optimize equipment utilization, maximize production capacity, and meet production targets.
Limitations of Working with Downtime
  1. Manual Data Entry: Relying on manual data entry for recording downtime events can lead to inaccuracies, delays, and inconsistencies in downtime tracking.
  2. Limited Data Context: Downtime data alone may not provide sufficient context or insights into the underlying factors contributing to production interruptions.

The Role of a Production Monitoring System in Blow Molding

To overcome the limitations of downtime tracking and accurately assess production efficiency in injection molding, a production monitoring system is essential. A production monitoring system like Mingo Smart Factory provides real-time visibility into equipment performance, downtime events, and production metrics.

Benefits of a Production Monitoring System
  1. Automated Downtime Tracking: Automatically capture downtime events, reasons, and durations in real-time, ensuring accuracy and completeness of downtime data.
  2. Categorized Downtime Analysis: Classify downtime events into predefined categories, enabling granular analysis and identification of root causes.
  3. Predictive Maintenance: Utilize predictive algorithms to anticipate equipment failures, schedule maintenance activities proactively, and minimize unplanned downtime.

Downtime is a critical metric for assessing equipment reliability, production efficiency, and capacity utilization in the injection molding industry. However, accurate downtime tracking and analysis require more than just recording downtime events—it necessitates comprehensive data collection, categorization, and analysis to derive meaningful insights for process improvement. By integrating a production monitoring system, manufacturers can use real-time data insights to accurately track downtime, identify root causes of production interruptions, and drive continuous improvement. With enhanced visibility and analytics capabilities, manufacturers can minimize downtime, optimize production processes, and achieve operational excellence in today’s competitive manufacturing landscape.

Case Study

Lyons Blow Molding reduced mistakes, increased the accuracy of their data and reduced non-value-added work with the help of Mingo Smart Factory. Check out the case study.

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Alyxandra Sherwood
Digital Marketing Manager @ Mingo Smart Factory I Adjunct Professor @ SUNY Geneseo I Boston Marathoner I Second Street Award Winner I Media Professional with 15 Years Experience