On April 26th, 2014 The PDC Team Trained with NADCA
This past weekend Premier Die Casting held a Quick Die Change course that was taught by Alex Monroe of Magma Industries. Alex is a former employee of the North American Die Casting Association and is an excellent instructor of the NADCA classes that are designed to improve the skill levels of employees at die casting companies in North America.
The course included strategies such as lean thinking, the 3M’s, and 5S and visual controls. The goal here is to improve the die caster’s capability for ultimate customer satisfaction by providing the highest quality with the lowest cost and the shortest lead time.
The focus and majority of the course was spent with SMED – Single Minute Exchange of Dies. This concept was developed in the 1950’s by Shigeo Shingo in Japan. Mr. Shingo work with Mazda, Mitsubishi, and Toyota. The basis of his process includes separating internal and external activities, convert the internal activities to external activities, and streamline all activities.
So you might be thinking “What is an internal versus and external activity” and what does it matter in the world of die casting?
Internal vs. External Set Up Activities
Internal set up activities are elements in the changeover of the dies which can only be done when the machine is stopped. External set up activities are elements that can be performed when the machine is running. In the goal ofreducing die set up times to under 10 minutes it is crucial that internal activities be at the absolute minimum in time.
Examples of internal and external were shown in a number of videos for Formula 1 and NASCAR racing with tire changing in the pits. All activities are broken down into elements and workers are assigned an element which is performed in a timely manner to change four tires in 2 seconds.
Another video that illustrated how an internal activity of tire changing can be converted into an external activity is one that is popular on the internet today. It’s tire changing the Saudi Arabian way and you won’t believe your eyes.
After viewing this video you will never say that tire changing can only be done as an internal action (when the car is stopped). This is an example of creative thinking and improving a process.
If you have any parts or projects that you would like quoted as an aluminum die casting please send your part files and models to email@example.com for a quotation and design review.
By Leonard Cordaro, President of Premier Die Casting Company.