Moll Industries Inc., a $427 million plastics processor, is flexing its muscles with its Global Enterprise Molding program.
The program allows the company to transfer molds and other resources required for production from one facility to another with the knowledge that the processing conditions will be identical. The process documents the variables that affect critical tolerances so that engineers can control them.
The GEM program enables Moll to move work quickly among mold-building facilities and manufacturing facilities. According to Moll, the program cuts production time by two-thirds, allowing it to build a mold and start production in a matter of several weeks.
The GEM program, which Moll affectionately calls ``muscle molding,'' was implemented this year at its Fort Lauderdale, Fla., facility. The program now is company-wide, at all 27 facilities throughout the United States, Mexico, England, France, Germany and Portugal.
Moll's Fort Lauderdale facility also is home to one of the few glass molds in the world. It is made of the same material as a space shuttle windshield and allows the company to study how plastic moves through a mold. Cameras take high-speed photographs of the molding process to use as development tools for part and tool design.
Mike Red, vice president of marketing, said the glass mold is ``getting beyond theory to actual observation'' of plastic.
Moll employs 4,000 and operates a total of 680 injection presses with clamping forces of 10-2,500 tons.
Moll serves the medical, appliance, telecommunications, personal-care, automotive and retail point-of-purchase display markets. The company's major customers include Audi AG, Colgate-Palmolive Co., Whirlpool Corp., Motorola Inc., Xerox Corp. and Procter & Gamble Co.