In the past, Die makers would review the trim or cut edge for signs of increased work hardening during the cutting processes. They would examine the sheet metal for burr...
If, during a production run, a die experiences severe wear or is damaged, to a level that the production process cannot be adjusted to finish the necessary part count, that Die is going to go from the press bolster directly to the die shop for repair.
Another common way that Die Repair and Preventative Maintenance is prioritized is:
There is an open workspace in the die shop and the die hanging on the crane, just having finished a complete production run, has an open work order. Other die sets may have more demanding repairs, or those repairs may in tale risk of changing the part quality, so these become convenient excuses to “not have to double handle” dies by storing the die that just came out of the press and moving a die that should have a higher “repair Priority”, into the open die shop workspace.
Phoenix has always professed a need for a controlled process within the Stamping industry. The die, it’s part touching surfaces, alignment mechanisms, die component and part locating devices, and the sheet metal restraining and pressure generating surface are a huge part of that Process needing to be controlled and if necessary, returned to their original working condition.
Allocating the skilled trade resources now available to maintain the dies is a subset of the overall “process control” dynamic, used to establish Tool & Die Priorities and is sometimes referred to as a Decision Tree.
Issue: The need for a systematic, data-based approach to determine what dies will be worked and when the work will be done. These decisions should be based on production’s needs, customer satisfaction, and return on investment.
Solution: Using the Tool & Die Decision Tree will enable Die Shop Management to prioritize open work orders. Using the prioritized work orders, Working Leaders or Die Makers can make decisions on work (Self)-assignments. Based on Available: Manpower and skill level, Time until that die line need to produce parts again, Available Floor Space in the work area, if the necessary Equipment is Availability, etc.
The highest Priorities for the Decision Tree is if a No Build part condition exists due to, the press shop not being able to run production because of a Broken Dies, Quality Rejection figures make the part Unprofitable to produce, and Formal customer quality complaints.
The next priority level of the decision tress is if Production through-put or Quality Improvement are Needed, because of higher than desired Part quality Rejection figures, Informal customer quality complaints or if Formability issues produce random part Failures.
The next step down in priorities is Continuous Improvement, to eliminate Marginal Formability strain status, incorporate a Material Savings, or an Engineering Change.
Example of how the decision tree functions: A particular die has an open work order resulting from a Quality Alert Bulletin (QAB), and another resulting from a formability issue. The QAB work order requires two shifts to complete, while the formability work order needs only 4 hours. The Die Group Leader determines that there is only one shift available, so the formability work is completed, leaving the QAB work open for the next opportunity. Alternatively, if only 2 shifts are available, a release could be requested to perform the QAB work on the two shifts and leave the formability work order open.
A good priority system improves effectiveness of the entire department, but without priorities, less meaningful work is accomplished. The truly meaningful work didn’t get scheduled because, I wasn’t informed it needed to be done - - so it wasn’t my job, - - and nobody is at fault - - but everybody gets blamed when the part quality is low.
Craig and Wil