Case Study: Consumer Products Transfer Tooling
A well-known consumer products company (CPC) approached Custom Rubber Corp. after their patience ran out with their existing rubber molder. They were experiencing a multitude of problems:
- Late deliveries
- Poor communication
- A combative relationship that lacked trust and commitment
We Match and/or Exceed Product Quality, Overcoming the Challenging Transition
After a number of trips; the CPC to Custom Rubber Corp. and a teams of Custom Rubber Corp. engineering, sales, quality, and maintenance people visiting the CPC and their previous supplier, the CPC started by transferring two molds to Custom Rubber Corp. In less than a week, Custom Rubber Corp. was producing product with quality levels that matched or exceeded the previous supplier.
The first two tools went well enough that the CPC then transferred another three tools to Custom Rubber Corp. three or four months later - with the same result. After about six to nine months running these first five molds, the CPC asked Custom Rubber to take on another 28 molds and also to accept four injection molding machines that the CPC was pulling out of their existing rubber molder.
This was an extremely challenging transition that involved:
- Moving the four machines, hooking them up, and getting them into production.
- When the molds arrived, all that was received were the cavity plates. None of the ejector systems or cold runners systems was included.
- Custom Rubber Corp. worked non-stop with multiple tooling and engineering partners to reverse engineer all the necessary ejectors (some pneumatic, some hydraulic, and some air blast) as well as all the missing cold runner systems.
- In some instances, Custom Rubber Corp. recommended replacing the cold runners with hot runners due to the shorter run times and multiple colors required - this saved the CPC thousands of dollars.
- Both the CPC and Custom Rubber Corp. knew the transition would take a long time, but the entire transition - four molding machines and 28 tools - was completed on time and on budget.
- In total, more than $250,000 was spent remanufacturing the missing mold components.
- Custom Rubber Corp. was able to keep the CPC supplied with necessary product in time so that backorders were kept to a minimum.
- Addressing the actual production was only half of what Custom Rubber Corp. did.
- To address the communication issues:
- Weekly scheduling calls were established that continue today between Custom Rubber Corp. and the production planners at the CPC.
- Weekly quality calls were established that continue today. These calls include representatives from the CPC's headquarters, their Ohio warehouse, and Custom Rubber Corp.. Whenever any of the three facilities have a quality issue or alert, photos are loaded up to a photo sharing website and the new photos are the agenda for the week's meeting. This keeps all three parties on the same quality page.