There are many technological changes worldwide which have boosted the urgent need for high-quality products and services, which only high productivity can provide. More efficient, and therefore sometimes complex automation systems have to be used in today's competitive manufacturing world.
Automation providers tend to "over-sell" extremely complex automation molders. This can overwhelm molders who cannot make the most of their equipment and might even be irritated and do not use automation at all in fear of further automation in the future. It's now the responsibility of the molding company to gradually develop and support its know-how in automation. The supplier has a great deal more responsibility to know the customer's capabilities and develop a personalized solution which adapts to the skills available. It is advantageous to have a local supplier who understands the climate, culture, language and federal regulations such as OSHA, MIOSH, UL, as well as any other national, regional and local challenges. A fine vendor knows and can support industry standards such as GAMP 5 (Good Automated Manufacturing Practice) or FMEA (failure method and effects analysis) that are appropriate in industry specific.
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To better understand the necessary impacts of batch-to-batch variations in materials (MFI-melt flow index) and other variables such as drying tolerances, the automation supplier needs training. The right methods and variables for quality inspections will, therefore, be significantly selected. Today an effective automation supplier requires specific innovations such as remote service solutions, support for web services and even increased support for reality.
It is also important to provide good local support for service technicians and the stock of spare parts. Failure to provide local service support can lead to considerable downtimes and can damage a good output in one incident if the system is down for several days or a week. The technology today provides low or no maintenance requirements for components. Smart use of these components is important to reduce downtimes and increase production. This helps to make the molding machine more complex.
The supplier must know the level of skill of the operators and develop the control to the requirements of the customer. The user interface must be simplified and restricted access must be given in certain production environments. In other settings, the interface should be maintained as flexible as possible, so that the customer can penetrate the control deeper and make adjustments accordingly.