April 24, 2012
Uniting the knowledge of each worker at Rexam Mold Manufacturing, from the journeyman toolmaker to the apprentice, from the designer to the worker on the floor, makes a better mold and makes it faster, said Len Graham, business unit leader for RMM. Mold makers like RMM must deliver consistency with every single tool. If just one part in that tool doesn’t perform to precise requirements, the entire qualification process may be held up or a company even may need to repeat the costly process a second time to meet Food and Drug Administration requirements. State-of-the-art drilling, wire electric discharge machines and robotics equipment can deliver consistent products, but using them correctly and skillfully requires upfront knowledge and information that only the experts on the floor can deliver. A true mold-manufacturing system requires everyone at the company to think as a team, he said. That system must be able to tap into the best ideas of each person to create a better company that benefits everyone. "Once the guys knew that was the direction they were going, they were on board," said Jack Fiorito, special tooling manager. The Buffalo Grove operation, which employs 90, makes medical-packaging tools.