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Rubber Moulds Need Flexible Scheduling Solution From Preactor
June 2004

Polymatech (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd.  (PTM), part of the Fuji Polymatech Group of Japan, was established in April 1987 and represents the first Polymatech manufacturing plant outside Japan. With an initial investment well over RM 35,000,000, PTM's corporate objective has been set on being a fully independent design, development, manufacturing and marketing unit of elastomer switches.

Today, with a work-force of 800 employees, PTM is supplying all types of silicone rubber products such as hand phone keypads, and general rubber products to some of the world’s most prestigious organizations and are meeting the challenge of a very competitive market place by being customer focused, and by using computer-aided design and advance technology to provide the precision and quality necessary for the production of top quality products.

This success and in constantly striving to meet market demand, PTM's ambitious expansion program in 1993 saw the commencement of its new production plants, P.T. Polymatech Indonesia (FPI) in Jakarta in 1995 as well as Polymatech Thailand Corporation (PTC) in Bangkok in 1998.    This impressive growth has meant an additional load on PTM’s Tooling Division and so it looked for a solution at the Metaltech Machinery Exhibition in Kuala Lumpur to manage its mould department for its hand phone keypads.  Here it found the solution it needed in Preactor.

Before a mould job can be carried out on the production floor, all materials, cutters, and CAD/CAM Programs for that job must be ready. The subsequent processes for the job will depend on the design of the end product being made. These processes consist of CNC Machining, EDM, Milling, NC Machining, Grinding, Sandblasting, and Polishing. The sub-parts of the mould will then be assembled together before going through a quality inspection.

Due to the increase in production orders, the planner’s job has become increasingly more complex and so more difficult to produce accurate and flexible schedules. Also the planner could not monitor closely enough the progress of each job at each stage of manufacture and get an overall picture of the current schedule, accuracy and running costs.

PTM have used Preactor 300 FCS to achieve this visibility and control.  Preactor has been found to be quick and reliable in decision-making, provide paperless, up-to-date process breakdown information and reliable costs of the expected against the actual plan.

Implementation was carried out by OEMS (Malaysia).  During the implementation, all product and order data was keyed into the Preactor database of the Master Scheduling System, since the existing data was held manually through paper reports. Firstly a trial run was carried out to compare the accuracy of the Preactor schedule with PTM’s current schedule. When the Preactor schedule was satisfactory, the Preactor Viewers were added on the production floor and management office where they are used to share scheduling information such as work-to lists for each machine.