Injection moulding powerhouse Talisman Plastics is well advanced with plans to increase capacity, efficiency and performance of its injection moulding plant, refreshing the plant line up with newer, more advanced machinery.
Nathan Flanigan, Senior Project Engineer, and Ewelina Skalska, Production Manager, at one of Talisman's security seals machine cells.
The Malvern-based company is two years into a five year-long series of investments, bringing in brand new machines to its factory floor, while also decommissioning older models, in turn boosting product precision, saving energy, and reducing time lost to maintenance.
At the start of the investment programme, Talisman had 32 machines in its factory inventory, with a target to reduce this number over five years to 24, all of which will run for longer times, increasing overall productivity and capacity. Two years into the programme they have already reduced the number of machines to 27, with overall equipment efficiency (OEE) and production capacity significantly improved.
Shaun Champion, managing director of Talisman Plastics, said: “This is a key part of our strategy, combined with reducing the number of tool changes. Two years ago, we averaged 55 tool changes per week, we are now down to an average of 28. This is compounded by running fewer machines for longer, meaning over 60-man hours a week have been saved in setter and maintenance time.”
“Investing in more advanced moulding equipment and having less down time has already provided savings. Proof of the progress made is in a 12% saving in energy costs, despite a 14% increase in the actual number of days worked during the first half of 2020.
“This, combined with a greater level of flexibility in terms of machine options, means we are well placed to provide British manufacturing at a competitive price,” Champion said.
The latest machine to be added to the field is a 160-tonne installation incorporating a robot and printer, providing a work cell capable of 24/7 continuous production at a cost of £130k.
Talisman Plastics positively used the opportunity during the lower production periods experienced during the earlier part of the coronavirus pandemic to reorganise the shop floor to improve flow rates.
Champion said: “The lower work volumes during Covid-19 actually gave us a convenient window to press on with a leaner, smarter business approach. We had some resource freed up which meant we were able to reconfigure the machine layout. In total 9 machines were moved, creating more efficient work processes and upping standards across the business.
“We have further investment planned for 2021 to bring in more new machines. We have already implemented software which facilitates a higher degree of control over the machines and maximises uptime, so the combination of these is going to bring more precision and flexibility to our customers in a number of markets, including healthcare, automotive and electronics.”