Plastics Processing: How To Succeed In An Ever-Changing Industry, Part 2

There is an old adage that says, “A fish rots from the head down.” This is also true in the plastics industry: In the end, everything that goes wrong is management’s fault. Routsis Training has visited many processing facilities over the years and this is invariably true. For example, it is not uncommon that we talk to a plant manager in their messy office about how employees should learn the 5S System and organize their workplace! It’s not that management doesn’t mean well — but they need to understand they are leaders, and that the most successful leaders lead by example.

Support from Management

It is not enough to simply demand change: Management must provide the resources to facilitate and sustain such changes. It all begins with management’s buy-in, support, and constant reinforcement. Without this, you will never attain meaningful, permanent change.

Engineering Provides the Specifics

Determining the specifics of how the change will occur should be the job of the engineering group. This includes relevant documentation, procedures, equipment, reporting, specifications and so forth.

Technical Employees Implement Change

Now the actual day-to-day implementation of change falls on the shoulders of your technical employees. These are your production personnel that use the new equipment, follow the new procedures, maintain the new standards, and fill out the new documentation.

For example, your engineers could develop all-new, fully-documented processes using scientific processing methodology. But if the technicians do not understand both the reason for the change and how it is done, the processes will inevitably go back to the way things were. This is an important point so I’ll repeat another way: If your techs do not understand both the reason for the change and how it’s done, they will simply revert to what is most comfortable.

Sustainable Change is Everyone’s Job

The world’s most successful plastics processors are the ones who continuously improve and take on new challenges. To do this, you must first teach the workforce why the change is needed, what is involved, and how it is to be implemented.

In our next post, we will take a look at ways your facility can develop more competent technicians — in order to promote continuous improvement to your processes.

What exactly is Scientific Molding? Click here to learn more. And feel free to contact us for more information about modernizing the processing methodology in your facility.

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