There are many reasons for Quick Mold Change. We have customers who have multiple tools and also run them all in multiple colors. Prior to installing quick mold change equipment they would run a mold, change the color multiple times, then change the mold and run the next mold through various colors… This required huge inventories and all the problems that come with large batch sizes.
With our quick mold change systems installed on all of their presses they now run every mold prior to making a color change. Change time is less than 10 minutes. Lot sizes are much smaller. Many problems solved. The flexibility and efficiency now allow them to change scheduling on a dime when needed. And the cost per quick mold change system installed on a press is a fraction.
Think like this: 2 changeovers per week times 4 hours lost machine time say you charge $225 per hour is $900 per week in “savings” if your change times were ZERO. That is about $40,000 per year. The cost to get to 10 minutes probably is upwards of $250,000 if you only have 2 molds. No way you justify that. If you have more lost opportunity than that, you can pick up another nice 1000T easy for $200k so you can have negative setup time by setting up the second machine and switching operator instantly or running both with one operator. Now that is more cost effective.
Payback can be significantly less than a year. Many factors play in to justifying a quick mold change system including: press downtime, labor rates, product mix, economic order quantity, inventory cost and space, safety, customer demands, number of molds, colors, and on & on… Some customers have eliminated the extra height of a new building (huge initial and operating cost savings) and the cost of an overhead crane and the cost of additional presses when planning on using quick mold change equipment. Floor space is becoming a major driving force for many, so simply adding presses may not be an option.