It has often been said that the backbone of any business concern is its sales department due to the fact that there can be no business without sales. It is true that the most efficient injection molding companies manufacturing department would be utterly useless without an outlet for the goods it produces, but conversely, the best sales organization in the world would soon prove to be worthless if it did not have a production department capable of competently handling the orders which it sent into the plant. Consequently, the success of any company depends not on sales alone, nor on manufacturing alone, but on a combination of the two, coordinating in their respective lines of endeavor.
Production procedure in a plastic molding concern naturally differs from one plant to another according to its size or capacity. The very small plant, for instance, would not find it necessary to institute forms and methods of procedure that become a vital part of the larger company, but basically the principles are the same to a greater or lesser degree. Whether it be a plant with merely five or six presses or an established concern replete with all the new types of mold equipment, the responsibility remains the same, namely to produce efficiently the goods ordered by the customers. Among the most important factors for which the production manager is held accountable are the following:
- Schedule the plastic raw material supply
- Keep in close touch with the preforming department
- Schedule the work in the molding department
- Place the dies in the correct plastic injection machines
- Keep the presses operating efficiently
- Coordinate the molding room work with that of the finishing department
- Supervise maintenance of all equipment
- Regulate wage rates and adjustments
- Insure rigid inspection of finished and semi-finished goods
- Provide accounting department with accurate labor records
In order to successfully manage the above phases of the molding division a great deal of the work must be distributed among subordinates, but the manager should be qualified to supervise any of the various components as listed. We shall now treat each one of these in greater detail and learn the necessary essentials to their continued functioning.
To fill orders, it is of course necessary to have the raw materials to furnish the press operator. Inasmuch as there are innumerable different molding powders it becomes a difficult task to keep stocked up in all of them. There are the usual variety of colors, characteristics, and degrees of hardness or softness that have to be considered and also the fact that time is often detrimental to the quality of the powder. The usual method of following raw material stock is by use of file cards with daily entries being made in the main office. Diminishing stock is watched closely and maxi-mums and minimums are established on all materials used.By this method the order department is able to ascertain the flow of each material from day to day, and purchase in sufficient time to prevent any possibility of running short. The records are kept in accordance with tickets made up in the powder room the day before. Much of the powder is converted into preforms as well as being used in the press room， but in order to keep the records accurately, material should not be reported as being used until it has actually been molded. Therefore preform stock is usually included as part of the raw material inventory. Definite numbers should be assigned to the various powders to facilitate day by day records of the stock of each kind actually on hand.