A company faced with ever increasing competition worldwide has to continually review & improve its products, processes & systems. One such , Acco-Rexel Ltd saw the need to re-invest in an injection moulding facility to manufacture components for its high volume stapling machine products. Injection moulding in itself is not new, but modern manufacturing methods such as Just-In-Time(small batch manufacturing) are still being developed for new & existing processes. The need to improve processes within a company forms only part of the ongoing strategies to achieve profitability & consequently, survival of the business.This particular investment project took 2/£ years to complete. The initial feasibility study included simulation of an injection moulding facility in a JIT environment. The conclusion was the investment in a 2 injection moulding machine facility with quick tool change equipment, which reduced mould-tool set-ups from typically over 60 minutes to under 30 minutes. Reducing the average leadtime for supply of plastic components from 6 weeks to 1 week gave the opportunity of lowering inventory at both manufacturing & distribution sites. The overall financial benefit was that a payback on investment was achieved in less than 2 years. Acco-Rexel Ltd has subsequently installed an additional 2 injection moulding machines to increase its in-house capability of manufacturing plastic components.
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