Plastic workshop – Plastic component plant doubles down on research to improve efficiency
The plastic workshop of THACO INDUSTRIES's Plastic component plant has been equipped with different advanced machines and equipment. For example, pressing machines can deliver clamping forces from 110 tons to 3,200 tons. Or blow molding machines have a capacity of 10 to 30 liters, and can blow volumes up to 7 kilograms, imported from Austria and South Korea. Besides, there are plastic drying devices and an automated material feeding system.
There are 40 employees working at the workshop who specialize in manufacturing products for automotive and other industries by using injection molding, extrusion and blowing technologies. Their products range from interior and exterior components of passenger cars, trucks, buses, motorbikes, plastic components for civil, agricultural and industrial use. Its main customers in Vietnam include THACO Kia, THACO Mazda, THACO Bus, THACO Truck, THACO Luxury Car, Hyundai Vietnam, Toyota Vietnam, etc. Their products also meet standards from major markets as the U.S., Australia, Canada, and South Korea.
To improve product quality and efficiency for the factory, the plastic workshop pays special attention to improving the operation processes or its machines and equipment. In the first quarter of 2023, it has delivered 12 improvement projects which contributed to reducing production costs and improving productivity and product quality, e.g. installing a safety switch on molds to prevent mold defects, improving the production process of wire hangers, changing the thickness of pallet 1 and pallet 3 clamps to match the automatic mold clamps of the 850-ton pressing machines.
At the plastic injection molding line, for plastic injection molds, the movable mold plate mover after long hours of operation may not return to the original position after one injection cycle. Therefore, in the next molding cycle, the mover could hit the fixed mold surface, risking damaging the mold, which is costly and time-consuming to repair. To fix the problem, Mr. Phan Thanh Cuong and Mr. Nguyen Ngoc Thanh proposed to install a safety switch on the injection mold to control its opening and closing, control the operation of the mover, and only allow the mold to close when the mover returns to its original spot. The project has succeeded to prevent mold defects and ensure production and delivery schedules.
Improving the production process of wire hangers was also one of the topics that efficiently reduced production costs at the factory. In the wire hanger plastic injection cycle (with metal inserts), it used to take 180 seconds to produce the wire hanger body. If the time is not ensured, the product will have plastic shrinkage, ending up unqualified size. To fix this, Mr. Phan Vang and Mr. Le Van Tuan shortened the plastic injection duration to 130 seconds. The product after pressing was fixed on a 33 millimeter-thick jig, and cooled down to the desired size. The project has helped cut back on production time, save more than VND40 million of labor costs in 2023..
As one of the employees linked with technical improvement projects, Mr. Phan Vang, leader of the extrusion and blowing team shared, “During production, I try to think of improvement solutions to fix limitations of the machines and equipment to improve efficiency. This May, I am working with my team to improve the drilling process for hydroponic pipes, the plastic tank for blow molding machines, and redesign the shelf for finished products in the extrusion line to contribute to boost up efficiency.”