Machine Monitoring Solutions Providing Tool, Quality & Production Control

Return On Investment: Ball-Forming Application

By: Process Technologies Group, Inc.
Topics: Heading, Continuous Improvement, Defect Detection, IMPAX

ROI analysis for using IMPAX monitors for continuous improvement of a Ball-Forming Application

This is an actual Return-on-investment study prepared by a customer, for IMPAX monitors. Names and some details have been removed.

IMPAX Load Monitor Project Overview

The IMPAX unit is designed to constantly monitor the ball forming process in our heading machines. The inception of this project came to pass to satisfy our need to continuously improve our current process. Quality and efficiency are the two major benefits this system offers. Outlined below and in the following pages, the worth of the project is made evident.

Capabilities and Uses of IMPAX

  • Designed to react to process changes instantly and alert the operator
  • Ceases production by shutting down machine when abnormality occurs
  • Tolerances can be set to detect minor as well as major malfunctions (such as tooling smashups, short-feeds, transfer faults, material changes, tool cracks, chips, and wear)
  • Reduce scrap
  • Reduce contamination of good balls produced from bad balls
  • Run heading machines for moderated periods of time unattended
  • Increase production
  • Can be used effectively as a tool for operators to set-up machines
  • Increased man-to-machine ratio

Benefits of Accompanying Software

  • Can see which units/heading machines are in production at any given time
  • Can view what lot number is currently running on each machine at any given time
  • Can view how many balls are made per shift, per day, per week, etc. at any given time
  • Can view the number of errors which have occurred, by machine at any given time
  • Can view the operator-specified downtimes with the reasons and times for each occurrence. These down times can be very useful in tracking tooling or raw materials
  • Can view actual production speed of each machine
  • Can be used to download important production information and schedules
  • Can be used to eliminate much unneeded paperwork on the production floor and in the office area

Note: This overview and the investment return breakdown which follows are made possible through actual testing and documentation of this unit within our facility.

Cost Savings and Increased Quality Through the Detection of Defects and Reduction of Reinspects

The IMPAX unit, through extensive testing and recognition of its capabilities, has proven completely effective in catching many of the defects which are generated in the heading process. Until this time the defects were often times missed or overlooked. Needless to say there wasn't an effective way to monitor the machine and locate these problems. The defects the IMPAX has proven it can prevent are as follows: short pole, chips, double heads, and any defect related to loose tooling and/or tool breakage.

Outlined below are the total number of preventable reinspects, the cost per lot to reinspect them, and the total annual cost per ball size for reinspection.

Cost to
5/32 13 $368.30 $4,787.90
3/16 13 $230.00 $2,990.00
15/64 3 $141.90 $425.70
1/4 2 $128.40 $256.80
17/64 15 $138.70 $2,080.50
9/32 1 $138.30 $138.30
5/16 4 $127.00 $508.00
11/32 13 $123.60 $1,606.80
3/8 5 $100.00 $500.00
13/32 4 $117.90 $471.50
7/16 0 N/A N/A
15/32 0 N/A N/A
1/2 0 N/A N/A
9/16 0 N/A N/A

Total annual cost savings by preventing certain reinspects = $13,765.00

Percentage of total annual reinspects which can be prevented = 56.1%
(73 of 130 reinspects would have been prevented with the IMPAX system)

Cost Savings Reflected by Time Saved

Production related paperwork reduced by 90% due to accompanying software. Information need only be downloaded at the computer as opposed to physically going over charts and manually inputting the information.

Time spent = 232 hours per year (45 minutes per day)
Time saved = 90% or 208.8 hours per year
Cost per hour (including fringe benefits) = $24.00
Cost per hour multiplied by time saved (24 x 208.8) = $5011.21 per year cost savings

Total annual cost savings = $5011.21

Heading move sheets (sheets annotating lot numbers) no longer needed due to IMPAX system and software. Time taken to fill out move sheets reduced by 50% by inputting the lot information into the IMPAX unit by way of pushbutton.

Time taken per day for move sheet paperwork = 12 minutes
Total operation days in heading per year = 331 days
Total days multiplied by time per day (331 x 12) = 3972 minutes per year
Total time taken per year multiplied by 50% reduction (3972 x .50) = 1986 minutes
or 33.1 hours per year time savings
Total per year time savings multiplied by cost per hour (salary and fringe benefits) (33.1 x $21.00) = $695.10 per year cost savings

Total annual cost savings = $695.10

Time taken for defect investigations (per investigation) = 35 minutes
Total defect investigations (annual average) = 132
Percentage of investigations eliminated (outlined previously under defect reduction) = 56.1%
Number of investigations eliminated = 74
Annual time saved on defect investigations (35 minutes x 74) = 2590 minutes = 43.17 hours
Cost savings (annual) = 43.17 hours x $21.00 (labor cost per hour including fringe benefits) = $906.57 per year cost savings

Total annual cost savings = $906.57

Cost Savings Through Scrap Reduction in the Heading Process

On occasion, scrap will be generated in the heading process by way of broken tooling. If the operator is unaware of the occurrence, a moderate amount of scrap can be the end results. As a conservative estimate we believe at least 10% can be attributed to tooling breaks, and can be eliminated. A cost savings analysis is provided below.

Annual scrap dollars for heading department (dept. & process scrap) = $41,042.00
Projected scrap reduction annually in heading department with IMPAX system = 10%

Annual reduction and savings = $4,104.20

Cost Savings for Entire IMPAX Monitoring System Project

Cost savings reflected by time saved = $6,612.87

Cost savings through reinspect reduction = $13,765.00

Cost savings through scrap reduction = $4,104.20

Total annual cost savings of IMPAX project = $24,482.07

Company and Product Profile

IMPAX Monitors use a patented algorithm to learn the correct force profile for a process, and then monitor the process. This identifies bad parts and protects tooling, resulting in better productivity and efficiency.
More information: IMPAX Monitors

Process Technologies Group, Inc. (PTG) designs and manufactures process monitors, efficiency monitors, sensors, and data collection software for all production environments.
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