Manufacturers using specialty tooling, custom metal dies and distinct molds within their operations are familiar with the operational challenges that come along with the precision manufacturing process. With demand for a wider variety of parts on the rise, manufactures are running shorter jobs. This requires more changeovers, and changeovers take time. Quick changes and fast setups are critical to maximizing uptime. This requires an efficient tool, die and mold storage and handling process to easily locate, safely move and quickly change to the next tool, die or mold.
The first step to locating a tool, die or mold is to know where it is stored within the facility. To easily locate, tools, dies and molds should be assigned a dedicated storage location; thus you know where it is every single time. Even when you know where it is, it can take a while to get there. Due to their weight, tools, dies and molds are often stored out in the open and directly on the floor – they take up a significant amount of space and workers sometimes have to walk long distances to the location.
Consider a solution that can store these tools, dies and molds vertically. Automates storage and retrieval systems are designed to hold heavy weights and can provide compact square footage. This frees up space within your facility for other value added activities (such as more manufacturing). Further, stored tools, dies and molds can be presented to the worker with the push of a button – no waking and searching for the tool, die or mold on the floor.
Once the desired tool, die or mold is located it then needs to be moved from the storage area to the location of the machine. There are several types of cranes and ergonomic lifting devices available that can be used to get the tool, die or mold out of storage and onto your chosen method of transport (forklift, manual or automated cart or trolley).
When thinking about moving the tool, die and mold from storage to production you want to reduce handling as much as possible as there is opportunity for worker injury and product damage with extensive handling. Find an ergonomic solution that protects the worker and safeguards the part from damage.
Once you get the tool, die, mold to the production area you have the task of removing the current one from the machine and replacing it with the new one from storage. This can be a highly technical process that takes time. The faster you can locate and get the new tool, die or mold to the production area the faster the change can occur.
Once the change is done, you now have the task of returning the previously used tool, die or mold to storage. This opens up another opportunity for worker injury and part damage (which leads to maintenance costs, part quality problems and lost production).
Compact, Efficient & Safe Tool, Die & Mold Handling
Simple automated solutions can extend the life of expensive tools, dies and molds by reducing excessive contact and handling. Keeping tools, dies and molds in peak condition and available with a push of a button helps keep production runs on schedule.