Case Study 3-08763
IET worked with Mueller Plastics to develop a program that took the guesswork out of scheduling.
Mueller Plastics is the plastics division of Mueller Industries and is a leading manufacturer of plastic drain waste and vent fittings, pressure fittings and valves used in the housing industry.
"This scheduling and planning program puts the decision-making information in the hands of the people who can use it effectively."
The weekly production scheduling process was inefficient and ineffective, taking 3-4 days a week to schedule 900 molds across 52 injection molding presses. Scheduling was often done on an ad-hoc basis and relied upon the intuition and judgment of the scheduler.
The result of this process was unnecessary setups and unscheduled downtime. The customer needed an easy-to-use tool for assigning molds to presses in a way that maximized shop productivity.
IET developed a database model that allowed the manufacturer to schedule tools across primary and alternate presses with minimal setups. It also allowed them to anticipate and plan mold changes, analyze tool usage and report on productivity, machine utilization, production, scrap and rework.
Weekly production scheduling time was reduced from 3-4 days to 30 minutes per week. The customer eliminated the full-time scheduler position and made the shift supervisor responsible for the scheduling process. Setup time was reduced by an average of 15 percent annually and the on-time delivery rate improved to 99.8 percent.
The database model was later updated to allow the user to export the schedule in a format to be used with their new automated production monitoring system.