Improving Moulder Efficiency
The moulder is a Profimat 23. We use a small slr and a 24 inch gang saw to rip with. We use stacking cutter heads and spiral insert heads when possible. This moulder runs virtually all day long. On paper, this sounds possible, but by the time we forklift lumber in, set up machines, sharpen knives, etc., we always fall short of our needs. If anybody has any techniques they would like to share, we are listening.
From the original questioner:
Thanks for the response. You're right about the feed speed, and just to make things a little clearer for everyone, we don't run all 25 different parts in a single day. This is a week's worth of work. We use about 7 different species of lumber, so we do a lot of batching of parts, as you suggested.
From contributor J:
It sounds like it's time to hire another person.(that is a task in itself). You are running yourselves ragged. Just take a good worker under your wing, start him/her on the forklift, etc., and if he/she is the right one, train them for what you need. Or get one guy in the tool room prepping for the next day and maybe have one setup guy. But someone has to feed it and tail it. (Probably you guys, while you could be doing something else, right?)
How do you like your P23? They had a few setbacks with that model.
From contributor S:
Contributor R is right about ganging up similar profiles to minimize change-over time. Keep this in mind even with S4S-to-profile, one side type of things. Also, and I'm assuming a lot here, but if both of you are working the moulder, you might want to rethink that. One person can feed and catch a small moulder, with some effort, by putting a flop table at the outfeed end. The other person can be sharpening heads, staging the next run, etc. Also, try doubling or tripling some of your shorter runs, and stockpiling the excess from one week's production for release the following weeks. Twenty-five different products is a lot, but it is a finite number, so there is a beginning and an end to what you need to accomplish in a week's time. Eat that elephant one bite at a time until it is manageable.
From Dave Rankin, forum technical advisor:
There are many things that can be done to improve moulder production. Many of them start in the tool room. Over the years, many companies have followed some simple guidelines.
In the tool room:
On the moulder, some simple rules of thumb:
From contributor M:
Consider outsourcing some percentage of your work to a reputable moulding maker/millshop. A well established millwright ought to be able to run production parts for you at least as well as you do, if not cheaper, better and faster. By outsourcing 10-20%, you will be able to gain up to an 8-hour day of your own time to apply to problems and production that is unique to your company and situation. You will also be able to react more quickly to uplifts in demand when they occur.
From the original questioner:
Thanks for the tips. You have given me some ideas. I need to look at our whole moulding process, instead of just the moulder itself.
This moulder was kinda quirky when I first started using it. It was well used by others before me, so if it had any problems, I wouldn't have known it. We gave it a going over a few years back and it still works fine. The fence gets out of alignment pretty easily, but we have learned to spot this quickly when we mic. our parts. Overall, I think it is a decent machine - easy to set up and use.
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