Do you know where your molds are, Mr. OEM? You should! Molds are one of the most valuable assets OEMs own, Sujit Sheth, General Manager at AST Technology (Löhne, Germany), a provider of real-time mold monitoring systems, told an audience at Plastics-In-Motion, an automotive conference held earlier this summer. Monitoring these assets, knowing where they are, how they are performing, the number of cycles they have run and the maintenance that has been performed is critical to preserving and protecting these assets.
Monitoring molds can help the OEM identify potential issues and indicate where to focus improvement efforts. It gives OEMs the data needed to make better decisions with respect to the mold's useable life and how the mold is running. OEMs can also monitor their molds to benchmark performance and compare actual versus optimized performance, and to establish baselines to verify improvements.
Benchmarking is important and everyone needs to be involved in the process—tooling engineers, molders and tool builders, Sheth noted. "These are all links in the chain," he added. "They have to have skin in the game and be accountable."