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Afbeelding: LEAN Manufacturing

International interns contribute to lean operations at Rompa CZ

23 February 2018

Talented students are always welcome to share their knowledge at Rompa and gain valuable workplace experience. Last year, Daniel Delgado from Panama and Ana María Florido from Colombia started their internships at our production site in the Czech Republic. The two interns are involved in various projects that implement lean manufacturing at Rompa CZ. In this article, we will take a closer look at one of these: the SMED tool.

Rompa CZ utilises various lean methods and techniques to improve its workflow, avoid wastefulness and further automate its production line. One of these methods is the SMED tool (Single-Minute Exchange of Die). Daniel and Ana María are both working on the implementation of this tool. Ana María: “The SMED project is designed to ensure that the recalibration of the injection moulding machines for a new production order takes as little time as possible – less than ten minutes, to be exact. This recalibration takes place several times each day. The more efficiently it is done, the faster we can accommodate our customers’ wishes and deliver their plastic products.”

Ana María Florido
Ana María Florido

Here is how to implement SMED
How do you go about recalibrating a machine for the next order in less than ten minutes? By now, Daniel knows all about that. “It is important to first analyse the current recalibration process and differentiate between in- and external recalibration activities. Internal recalibration activities – e.g. turning off the mould heater and disconnecting the water and oil lines – can only be carried out when the machine is turned off. External activities can also be done when the machine is still operational. In the case of Rompa CZ, these activities include placing the next mould next to the machine and going over the product’s settings guidelines.” Ana María adds: “If you want to reduce the recalibration time, it is a good idea to conduct all external activities while the machine is still working on the previous order. As a result, the machine does not have to be switched off as long.” 

From analysis to execution
The interns analyse the best way for Rompa CZ to implement the SMED tool and how the workspace must be set up to facilitate this. After completing their analysis, they will start working on the design of the new setting. Next, they will also be involved in the execution in order to further optimise the process. In addition to this project, Daniel and Ana María are also involved in other projects to e.g. reduce production waste and organise the transport of material within the production site more efficiently.

Daniel Delgado
Daniel Delgado

About Daniel and Ana María
Daniel is a student of mechanical engineering at the Universidad Tecnológica de Panamá. “I wanted to take on a challenge outside my comfort zone. That is how I ended up at Rompa CZ. It has been a valuable experience so far. I can put my theoretical knowledge into practice on the work floor. That helps me further develop my engineering skills.” Ana María studies industrial engineering at the Universidad San Francisco in Quito, Ecuador. “I chose this internship at Rompa CZ because I wanted to broaden my professional and personal horizons. I am very impressed by Rompa’s work as an injection moulding company and the industrial plastic products they manufacture. The organisation clearly puts the quality of its products and providing a good working environment for its people first.”

Would you like to know more?
If you are interested in an internship at one of Rompa’s production sites or if you want to know more about the lean method, feel free to contact us.