As cycle times compress and as customers migrate offshore and impose increasingly stringent quality and pricing demands, molders and mold makers such as Nypro Inc. are working to squeeze costs and remain competitive.
Nypro, which employs about 10,000 at 43 sites in a dozen countries, refers to its HVS, or ``high-velocity system,'' for compressing all aspects of the demand-supply equation.
``It's a race to achieve a global footprint,'' said President Brian Jones, whose Clinton, Mass., company has added 15 plants in two years.
Additionally, he said, the formula for success in manufacturing is changing. For example, Jones said the concept of vendors providing buyers with discounts for buying in bulk is counterproductive.
``Suppliers incentivize you to operate inefficiently. The rewards need to go to the fast and agile,'' said Jones, who also serves as president of the Association for Manufacturing Excellence.
He claims that high-velocity principles can be applied to mold making as effectively as to the design, molding and assembly functions. Jones said few people realize that Nypro has nearly 500 toolmakers on staff worldwide and that proper application of certain principles can lead to cost savings of 20-30 percent in just a matter of months.
Jones will be among the keynote speakers at Plastics News' Jan. 26-29 Executive Forum 2003 in Phoenix. Another keynoter who will offer suggestions on how to address issues of competitiveness will be Jim Sacherman, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Flextronics International Ltd.
Sacherman speaks of a ``holistic'' approach to the product value chain, from industrial design and engineering and production to delivery and customer service.
In 1983 he founded Palo Alto Products International, a designer and manufacturer of electronic enclosures, and joined his current employer when Flextronics bought Palo Alto Products in February 2000. Singapore-based Flextronics today employs 95,000, has annual sales exceeding $13 billion, and has extensive plastics design, molding, tooling and product assembly operations.
In his Phoenix presentation, Sacherman will look at areas of conflict between the various disciplines in the product value chain, and suggest how best to identify and resolve them.
An optional, post-forum tour of Tech Group Inc.'s customer/engineering center in Scottsdale, Ariz., will offer a glimpse at how one company is addressing these issues. Tech Group has implemented its own vision for compressing product development cycle times. On Jan. 29, forum attendees will have the chance to tour the $5 million, 60,000-square-foot customer/engineering center in nearby Scottsdale. The facility features the firm's automated, patent-pending Super-Cell mold-making system.
For program details, go to www.plasticsnews.com/forum2003 or call (888) 368-7229.