Injection molding perfection – now even better with a little help from TimeSeries.
TKW Molding is a German injection molding specialist that manufactures components for the automotive and consumer goods industries. The company is extremely proud of its reputation for high standards and for delivering components for passenger safety, like seat belts and air bags. These stand out in everyday use thanks to their exceptional design, high performance, sustainability and high quality.
For any injection molding firm, there are certain inescapable challenges that come with the business. Managing these well is essential to success. For example, profit margins are low and there’s little room for scrap or production inefficiencies, while at the same time (and in particular within TKW’s markets) customer specifications and quality demands can be extremely high. Increasingly too, customers require their supplier to prove process compliance, potentially rejecting work where this cannot be properly evidenced. It’s usual for the injection molder to be held accountable for any production imperfections.
Despite these challenges and responsibilities for absolute compliance, across the injection molding industry production crews are often reliant on snippets of information being held in multiple different formats, often simply on paper, in people’s heads or stored across multiple Excel or Word documents. Records can be hard to track, are often incomplete and can easily be lost. As a result line-setup is too often not precisely to standards, not following best practise and is inefficiently performed, severely damaging Overall Equipment Efficiency (OEE).
TKW finds the answer: TimeSeries Paperless Shop Floor
With high standards being TKW’s brand hallmark, it needed a way to ensure complete certainty of compliance with customer-agreed and best-practice production processes. TKW recognized it had to provide its skilled workforce with a definitive, single digital resource to easily check requirements for compliant production. After a little research, senior management discovered the TimeSeries Paperless Shop Floor software suite.
With TimeSeries Paperless Shop Floor, manufacturing firms have a scalable, single repository and easy-to-follow guide for teams to check production is compliant and processes are performed efficiently following best practice. Built by TimeSeries in the Mendix low-code development environment (owned by Siemens), the cloud based SaaS solution supports compliance assurance from mold tryout and validation, to mold change and setup through to machine operation, inspection, packaging, and storage and delivery logistics.
Working with TimeSeries as our partner, our digital transformation of shop floor compliance processes continues to be a great success and is progressing at breathtaking speed.
Managing Director, TKW Molding
A great outcome
Not only has development of the perfect solution for TKW been fast, it has been at a much more favorable cost (and reduced risk) than building an application from scratch using traditional development methods.
“TimeSeries Paperless Shop Floor provides every member of our injection molding team with our customer-agreed and efficient procedures for mold and machine set-up, for start-up and manufacturing, and also allows us to audit for and prove adherence, if required,” said Benito Hinkeldein, managing director at TKW Molding.
Some of the benefits that TKW enjoys from TimeSeries Paperless Shop Floor include:
- Compliance: procedural compliance in day to day operations is enforced and taking shortcuts prevented. This ensures critical process parameters are always met, improving product track and trace.
- Efficiency: OEE will improve, thanks to more reliable shop floor work flows. Setup is much faster and startup smoother, meaning less downtime. There’s less scrap too, and best practices are adhered to throughout and being continually improved (cycle time, masterbatch percentage, packing procedures and more). TKW expects customer claims and rejects to be reduced. Transferring molds to new machines and sites will become simpler.
- Time and investment: With the suite being cloud-based (though on-premise is possible), and as software-as-a-service, TKW’s up-front investment was low and payback immediate.
At TKW, the TimeSeries suite can run on laptops, tablets and phones providing all who need it, from machine operators to senior management, with quick access to approved methods of work. Additionally, connectivity with TKW’s existing IT systems and back office applications such as ERP (proALPHA) and MES (ProSeS) has been easy, since TimeSeries Paperless Shop Floor comes with programmer interfaces (APIs) built-in.
Demo video Paperless Shop Floor
Watch the video below for a demonstration of the TimeSeries Paperless Shop Floor.