Tube and Pipe Training - Why can’t I run consistent tube and pipe product from one minute to the next?
There are ways to avoid inconsistencies by having one established standard.
- Do your mills work on double or multiple standards when it comes to maintenance, changeovers, setup, and routine operation?
- Do you find that there is a “day shift way” and a “night shift way”, or “Joe’s way” for running the mills? How often have you found out the mill was running just fine and when the next shift comes in, they have to put their touch or feel to the setup, and it ends up costing you valuable mill and production time? Such is human nature, and thus the need for Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) to keep everyone on the same page and doing everything the same organized way.
- No one wants to take away the feel for a tube mill, pipe mill or roll forming mill that an operator has developed. However, the practices of maintenance, changeover, setup, and operation of the mills and their tooling must fall within the original design parameters. If an operator develops a certain procedure and it is within these parameters, have all operators follow the same procedures once they have been documented.
- Developing procedures for all areas on the tube mill, pipe mill or roll forming mill has proven to reduce downtime by as much as 50%. Scrap savings can add to this. When procedures are in place, everyone performs the proper functions the same way, every time.
- How many times have you seen one changeover take two to three times longer than the previous one? There are many factors that can affect this setup time; but how many times has it been because one operator was doing it “their own way”, which is completely different than the “proper” way.
- When was the last time your company had formal training for your personnel involved with mill operations? Statistics have proven that those that take the time to have annual training reduce their downtime and overall problems by as much as 75% in extreme cases. Even a reduction in downtime as little as 5% can pay for annual roll forming training or tube and pipe training.
- Employees that have been properly trained will feel more confident when they are all working together as a team on the same wavelength. When the equipment is maintained and dependable, and everyone works towards the same standard, production goes up; downtime and scrap go down. There is not a lot of margin to convert material to a finished product on a tube, pipe, or roll form line. So we must do it right the first time, every time!!
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Written by Robert Sladky VP of Tube Mill Engineering