Process and product improvisation- A perspective for polymer based industries

With the current COVID-19 pandemic situation, most of the industries and factories are looking alternatives to reduce production and operational costs through various routes. And the most common routes considered by companies are introducing pay cuts, layoffs and lowering quality of the product. But these are times where we are required to be more compassionate and innovative so that we can stand up to the challenges at the hand. The unique combination of master batch formulation and processing of master batch pave way for the industrialists to look beyond the regular operational management observed in various industries. In this article we try to discuss a few ways to approach this problem for polymer industry. These approaches have been there for quite sometime and now need to be dusted and applied.

Are you considering your Volume costs ?

Yes, have you been monitoring your purchase, production and selling price in terms of volume of product delivered ? Though the polymer, additives and fillers are bought on weight basis (Kg or pounds) and the master batches are made on weight basis (PHR or Kg), the finished product is mostly sold in ‘price per piece or per unit’. The important factor here is that the components of the master batch vary in density, and due to this different formulation yield different volume costs. A master batch with high polymer percentage might weigh low but still produce more units of finished product than a low polymer percentage master batch that weighs heavier. Care must be exercised to assess the effect of both volume cost and mass cost on the finished product.

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Increasing Filler quantity to reduce product costs ? Think twice or maybe thrice!!

This is a very common trend observed in most of the polymer manufacturing industries, as it is the easiest to apply. But rarely does the manufacturer, consider its implication in the production process. The effect of fillers on the various manufacturing units such as grinders, mixers, hoppers and extrusion unit. The settings of mixers and heaters have to be adjusted according to the density and heating rate of the compounding mixture. Instead, the mixers are run at the normal speed while temperature-based heating is maintained to overcome the effect of varying specific heat. The interdependence of all these parameters must be examined before attempting to use filler as the cost regulating component.

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Focusing on Operations and Production

The production planning is an art that combines the materials, process, supply, demand and prices and directs it towards one goal. This goal of production planning depends on the market and products and can be as varied from meeting demand goals or lowering of processing cost or optimal maintenance of inventory etc. But as one is trained to always focus on lean manufacturing the essence of working of whole system as a single entity is lost. The current scenario has just provided the right opportunity for the manufacturers to re-evaluate their production units in terms of above mentioned. During such an evaluation, the manufacturers will observe that there are a number of combinations in which they can operate their plants and at the end of the day only one of those options can be chosen. Out team will help you in this process of finalizing these choices using our expertise.

Please feel free to contact us for any queries on the above discussed topics in the below contact form or you can write to us at simodofficial@gmail.com

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