A Production Problem we Encountered

MidOhioHydrographicsMidOhioHydrographics Posts: 9,472Member, Moderator, Business Ninja El Moderator
Good morning Ladies and Gentlemen!

We ran into a surprising issue the last few weeks. It was stressing me out to no end. For those who don't know, we do this full time and usually run thousands of parts per week. This will be an involved post, mostly directed at the other pros on this page. But, keep in mind there is a lot to be learned for even beginners about trouble shooting and problem solving.
A little background up front:
  • We have a dip arm that can be adjusted for speed precisely.
  • Film came directly from Mossy Oak, 60 meter roll just a couple weeks old. Stored in my climate controlled office.
  • I build fixtures that are adjustable for angle, which we set consistently with an angle gauge
  • All parts are firmly connected at exactly the same angle. I use a tool lathe to ensure proper sizing and true surfaces for part mounting.
  • Activator is applied with an automated spray system.
  • Ultimately, we take out much of the human aspect and can dial in our settings very precisely in small increments.

These parts are duck calls for a large OEM. We tested these last year for them, and all the testing on identical fixtures worked beautifully. We have 3010 of these to dip, and with our tooling would run 288 per run at about 1.5 runs per day, averaging 432 calls per day. Should have been a couple week job max.

We get in the first run, fab up the part holders, and start going with the settings we tested previously. We kept getting these results:



Keep in mind, this seemed up perfect at these exact settings. At best, we were at about 25% reject rate on the calls. Not acceptable for production. I don't need a perfect dip, just one that can be touched up. We adjusted one thing at a time for nearly 3 weeks. Angle, activation, dip speed, soak time, etc. At this point, we started running late on the expected deadlines, and more calls were arriving. Like over 3000 more calls of the next model. Multiple **badwords** were leaving my mouth those weeks. I DO NOT like missing deadlines. But quality always comes first. Finally, my shop supervisor Wes decided to try some Shadow Grass Blades we had from last year's run of calls. It worked PERFECTLY. Hmm... So next we tested some of the New Bottomland film from Big Brain that had been in my climate controlled office since we tested the calls about 8-10 months ago. It also worked perfectly... twice. We again confirmed by placing two fixtures at the exact settings angles with two pieces of film (one from each supplier) on the tank simultaneously. Exact same settings, one was 100% success with beautiful seams, the other looked like the photo above. Here is what I consider a good dip. Still some voids, but can be touched up quickly.



So... I contacted Mossy Oak and also ordered more film from Big Brain. The Big Brain film worked flawlessly, and the new mossy oak film did as well. Hats off to Mossy Oak/3D Fluid Graphics for standing behind their product and to Tony Stubbs for sending new film to test ASAP after our phone conversation. Great customer service.

Ultimately, we got the new film, and have nearly a 0% reject rate. It's VERY rare that the film is to blame. And even more rare that we can't get it to work acceptably. I always assume it's me or my guys screwing up until I can eliminate every possibility. Especially since there are no guarantees that one film acts like any other. In this case, maybe we got a remnant leftover roll that had been sitting for some time. Had the parts been another simple shape other than cylinders requiring a good wrap, it may have worked just fine.

Comments

  • WileECoyoteWileECoyote Posts: 6,533Member, Moderator, Business Ninja El Moderator
    @MidOhioHydrographics there is a point where you jump over eventually where you start believing in your notes and your process. I don't know where it is, but I crossed it a few years back with inline paint proportioning systems from Graco. When you get something in and have a problem, and can look their tech guys in the eye and say "It's you not me" it feels REALLY good. You have to remember that the guys that produce your components have "summer help" and guys that come in to work hung over too. Start to believe in your process, It's AWESOME over on that side of the fence.
  • SreynoldsSreynolds Posts: 1,418Member ✭✭✭✭
    @WileECoyote , I don't hire summer help ... but the coming in hung over thing kind of offended me a little ! lol
  • WileECoyoteWileECoyote Posts: 6,533Member, Moderator, Business Ninja El Moderator
    @Sreynolds How do you think I know it happens?...
  • norcalfranknorcalfrank Posts: 1,053Member ✭✭✭
    Old film. Think TWN, except that they will not work with you and it's always the installers fault...

    Great write up, Joe. Very help full. Thanks.
  • studebakerstudebaker Posts: 3,084Member, Business Ninja ✭✭✭✭✭
    I'm a little surprised that you don't have a "film breaker bar" In between your duck call fixtures. The breaker bar will "split the film" in the middle between the dipped objects so the film isn't being stretched between the objects, it will have finite edges that will pull to the object without stretching. That may have helped with the "bad" film that was stretching asymmetrically in the first picture.
  • K2ConceptsK2Concepts Posts: 13,443Administrator El Jefe
    @studebaker probably stretch the film even worse...at least that’s my experience with those types of things...
  • studebakerstudebaker Posts: 3,084Member, Business Ninja ✭✭✭✭✭
    It depends on the angle the breaker bar enters the water... Like a knife slicing tip first. Flat with the same angle as the object may indeed stretch it more.
  • studebakerstudebaker Posts: 3,084Member, Business Ninja ✭✭✭✭✭
    Kinda like this....


  • K2ConceptsK2Concepts Posts: 13,443Administrator El Jefe
    Hmmm...we even tried thin wire...but I can shoot a video...
  • WileECoyoteWileECoyote Posts: 6,533Member, Moderator, Business Ninja El Moderator
    @K2Concepts ever try prescoring the film? I think we made some attempts at it with some success
  • K2ConceptsK2Concepts Posts: 13,443Administrator El Jefe

    @K2Concepts ever try prescoring the film? I think we made some attempts at it with some success

    Now THAT I have not tried...
  • WileECoyoteWileECoyote Posts: 6,533Member, Moderator, Business Ninja El Moderator
    @K2Concepts We initially made the cut too large and it separated too much and caused issues, but with a little cut we found that we could get the parts closer together without stretching. Sure its a little more work on the prep stage, but we saved time in the overall process because we could do more in one shot. It comes down to the right shape of the parts and size, we kinda put it in our back pocket for a trick if the need came up.
  • Fejery4491Fejery4491 Posts: 154Member ✭✭✭

    You have to remember that the guys that produce your components have "summer help" and guys that come in to work hung over too. Start to believe in your process, It's AWESOME over on that side of the fence.

    Yeah.....the hungover thing is no joke. We made a shop rule that I'm not allowed to spray clear while hungover.....

    @MidOhioHydrographics if you don't mind me asking, what do you consider an acceptable margin for rejects? I imagine your number might be a little lower than most since you've automated so much of your process, but I've always been curious.
  • MidOhioHydrographicsMidOhioHydrographics Posts: 9,472Member, Moderator, Business Ninja El Moderator

    You have to remember that the guys that produce your components have "summer help" and guys that come in to work hung over too. Start to believe in your process, It's AWESOME over on that side of the fence.

    Yeah.....the hungover thing is no joke. We made a shop rule that I'm not allowed to spray clear while hungover.....

    @MidOhioHydrographics if you don't mind me asking, what do you consider an acceptable margin for rejects? I imagine your number might be a little lower than most since you've automated so much of your process, but I've always been curious.
    To be honest when it’s going right? We barely have any. Maybe a handful per run. And My guys are as picky as I am (I made them that way). Out of 288 Calls, maybe 5-8 needing re-dipped. Usually Touch ups are acceptable.
  • WileECoyoteWileECoyote Posts: 6,533Member, Moderator, Business Ninja El Moderator
    Yeah.....the hungover thing is no joke. We made a shop rule that I'm not allowed to spray clear while hungover......
    On the other hand, I have done some GREAT clear jobs while drinking...
  • pblizpbliz Posts: 193Member ✭✭✭
    @MidOhioHydrographics great write up on just one thing that can change a successful dip. Every day is a new challenge.
  • LibertymanLibertyman Posts: 959Member, Business Ninja ✭✭✭✭
    @MidOhioHydrographics great write up Joe, I love the detail, you put into your troubleshooting and analysis with all the set up and removal of human error you had to be pulling out your hair. It seems to me that that run of film was old or at the roll end, did you monitor the air temp and humidity? Joe, did the bad film have any different appearance then the good film? We've had issues with some TWN film that customers had requested doing that, but as @norcalfrank mentioned, they done seem to care, and point the fingers in our direction. What was the input you got from Mossy Oak/Tony, on what they thought was wrong with the film? I'd be curious to hear that. Those glass items we dip I told you about, in production had a high failure rate (to my liking) and unfortunately we don't have the automated set up like you have right now so we struggled with the similarities you pointed out with those calls. A lot of #%*$& words come out when everything you do seems to go sideways when it should be so simple to solve. The other problem was we had 12 different patterns to deal with all with different ink densities making it a bear to dial in. We've tried the cuts like @WileECoyote mentioned but not the cut bar idea as @studebaker mentioned. @K2Concepts , what kind of success/failure did you have using the wire idea? a video would be sweet big guy.
    Great thread guys!
  • MidOhioHydrographicsMidOhioHydrographics Posts: 9,472Member, Moderator, Business Ninja El Moderator
    @Libertyman Mossy Oak was happy to replace the film. Super customer service. I have not followed up on any testing they may have done. Humidity is always monitored in my office. Stays right around 45-50%. But the strange thing was we had the roll of the same film from Big brain in my office for months longer and that worked fine.
  • K2ConceptsK2Concepts Posts: 13,443Administrator El Jefe
    Even production companies like Mossy Oak and RealTree can have issues with the film print...I remember distinctly a problem with RealTree once and it was what sank their account with MudJug. The decorator had been printing RealTree jugs for years and all the sudden out of the blue there was problems with the film fading right at the equator of the jug being printed...never had fade issues before...they brought it to me and sure enough, it was the film...RealTree was not as helpful at replacing the film and in the end, it cost them the account. Some of these film printers and resellers would be wise to remember that we are not just dumb and trust in blind luck to print our items...at the same time you guys should be educated enough to run tests like @MidOhioHydrographics did and be educated enough to answer sensibly and argue reasonably when you call the film re-seller...you get upset or don't have the right answers and test results? They are just gonna stone wall you...
  • WileECoyoteWileECoyote Posts: 6,533Member, Moderator, Business Ninja El Moderator
    Unless your process is tight, it takes SECONDS to shoot holes in your theory. And alot of you guys play fast and loose with your procedures. In the end, that is gonna cost you money. Pay now on YOUR terms, or pay on someone else's later.
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