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Extruders Implements Reliability Centered Maintenance Program

Extruders: The Right Choice
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: David Rice – Sales Manager
972-442-3535
Wylie, TX David.Rice@ExtrudersInc.com

Extruders Executing and Delivering in a Challenging Environment by Implementing a Reliability Centered Maintenance Program

Since our founding in Wylie, TX in 1975, we have been committed to developing long-standing relationships with our aluminum extrusion customers by becoming the supplier of choice. To maintain our role as the supplier of choice, we developed a culture of continuous improvement. We did this so we can continue to deliver outstanding customer service through consistent on-time delivery of superior quality products, with short lead-times, thus providing greater value to our customers.

One of our challenges is to continuously provide custom aluminum extrusions that meet the applicable specification, on time, and within a short lead-time. To accomplish this cost effectively, our extrusion equipment and allied processing equipment must remain up and running, and operate within the specifications. To maximize our quality and responsiveness we knew we needed an enhanced approach to our extrusion equipment maintenance.

After exploring a number of potential solutions, we zeroed in on a Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) Program to optimize the effectiveness of our specialized equipment. Realizing we did not have the skill set in house to develop this program, we sought out industry experts to help us develop a RCM Best Practice Program. While this is a substantial investment in both dollars and personnel time, we are seeing the benefits. Our journey which started in February 2012, is not yet complete, however we have made substantial strides improving our equipment’s reliability, efficiency, and resiliency.

Using this program we have increased our percentage of conforming material on our first press by 35%. We have increased our Uptime 9%. We have decreased unscheduled downtime by 41% and our maintenance costs have fallen 4%. After we complete the RCM Optimization Process on our first press then we will continue the effort on our other presses. All of these improvements allow us to continue to promise and delivery quality extrusions with some of the shortest lead-times in the industry.

If you would like to learn more about how we implemented the program, please contact your Extruders Sales Representative or visit www.extrudersinc.com
Background Extruders Implementation of Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM)

RCM creates an advanced maintenance strategy for increasing asset availability by minimizing downtime caused by failures and increasing overall equipment effectiveness. RCM also identifies the maintenance required to defend against important failures with significant impact on asset performance. Our RCM program is a multi-step effort:

Step 1 Develop an RCM Strategy

A key element was to identify the right level of maintenance intensity for each piece of equipment.
This was achieved by collecting and rigorously analyzing a broad spectrum of data that included:

  • Calculating the Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) for each system.
  • Grading each system on the impact of a failure.
  • Calculating each system’s opportunities for improved maintenance focus. (Maintenance focus is a function of both the equipment impact and the failure frequency.)
  • Determining the current level of maintenance on each system.

Step 2 Implement Precision Maintenance for those systems that have the highest impact/opportunity score.

For these systems, it was critical to get to the root cause of problems. We used the Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA), Fishbone Diagrams, and Why Trees to standardize our investigation.

Step 3 Establish Predictive Maintenance and Preventative Maintenance programs

Essentially, our task was to establish the detailed maintenance tasks, technologies, and manpower for each system requiring maintenance and to determine the level of Predictive Maintenance and Preventative Maintenance required.

Step 4 Implement a disciplined Maintenance Planning and Scheduling Process.

Key elements were planning and estimating each action, scheduling and execution of the action, and follow up and close out of the action.

Steps 5 Objectively measure the program’s results.

We settled on the following metrics:

  • Percentage of conforming material produced by the equipment.
  • Uptime of the equipment
  • Scheduled and Unscheduled downtime of the equipment.
  • Total Maintenance costs for the equipment.

For more information on Extruders and its quality aluminum extrusions and services, please visit www.extrudersinc.com
About Extruders

For more than 35 years Extruders has dedicated itself to building a solid single-source aluminum extrusion company with a national presence, and with an uncontested reputation for quality, delivery, and service. Founded in 1975, Extruders began producing aluminum extrusions on a single press, today our capacity exceeds 75 million pounds annually and we are investing over $2 mil a year in capital equipment to continuously improve quality, safety, and capacity. We currently employ approximately 350 people at our 218,881 square foot facility in Wylie, TX. We serve a variety of industries located in the Midwest and throughout the United States and Mexico. We provide value added aluminum extrusion products and solutions to industry leading companies.

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Five arrested in scheme to avoid duties on Chinese extrusion

This news just in:

On Thursday, June 20, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents, working jointly with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) arrested five individuals and indicted three companies for conspiracy to smuggle Chinese extrusions into the United States and conspiracy to commit money laundering

“It appears that the US aluminum extrusion industry has been handed a victory by government agencies against unfair and illegal competition from China” Said Justin Ames, General Manager of Extruders, a Wylie, Texas based Aluminum Extrusion company, “This is a very positive step in the right direction and we look forward to a greater level of protection from our government” he added.

The full press release can be found here

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Plant Improvements

Extruders Executing and Delivering in a Challenging Environment
by Investing in Plant and Process Improvements

    The past 12 months has been a busy time here at Extruders for our Factory Improvement Taskforce (FIT.) The team was tasked with the challenge of increasing customer satisfaction while enhancing quality & improving capacity. The program started by asking, how do we increase our customer’s delight? After a detailed analysis, we zeroed in on the equipment and processes that if they were enhanced, would improve quality & capacity and therefore customer satisfaction by allowing us to continue to promise and deliver some of the shortest lead-times in the industry.

    The improvement candidates were rank ordered and scored for their potential. The finalist ranged in scope from extruder furnace upgrades to, new hot saws, to upgraded material handling equipment, to enhanced thermal break/ debridge capabilities. And of course, all this new equipment and processes required the accompanying increase in workforce training. Management reviewed the list of candidates and agreed to fund all the projects because of their high payback in enhanced customer satisfaction.

    The most ambitious project was the specification, evaluation, purchase, installation, and start-up of a new Granco Clark furnace. The total effort required over one year. This furnace has added a new dimension to our capabilities; we can now process a wider range of aluminum alloys which permits us to be an even better one stop shop for all your extrusion needs. The new system began operations Jan 3, 2013 and we are already seeing improvements with better quality, better extrusion consistency, and increased capacity.

    The next major effort was the selection and installation of a new hot saw. This improvement was planned and implemented to take advantage of the greater processing capabilities the new furnace provided. With this saw, we have more precise control of our in process materials, less scrap, and greater process speed. The combination of the new furnace and saw, allows us to increase our capacity and overall equipment effectiveness, thus increasing our capacity and ability to continue to increase customer satisfaction with short lead-times while volume requirements increase.
    The next major process improvement we decided to implement was to upgraded the extrusion handling equipment. We selected new Kevlar belts to handle the hot extrusions as they came out of the presses. The total program took 3 months to plan and implement and the new Kevlar belts allow us to handle the hot aluminum extrusions at higher speeds and still have fewer surface scratches/ imperfections and assure graphite free extrusions.

    Some of our customers want us to provide a post extrusion process called Thermal Break or Fill and Debridge. The Thermal Break, “Fill and Debridge”, process provides high insulation for window and door components. This process inserts a resin into an aluminum pocket and then cuts the bottom of that pocket out so there is no aluminum connection. The Thermal Break process provides insulation from both hot and cold temperatures thus increasing the thermal efficiency of the assembly. To continue to exceed the ever increasing specifications for this type of processing, we investigated and then purchased new equipment that allows us to have better flow control and greater batch to batch consistency. The total effort required 1 month of planning, acquisition and implementation.

    In addition we also invested in 5 new long haul delivery trucks with the new Extruders paint scheme. These new vehicles help us to ensure we continue to meet our on-time delivery commitments. As you drive down the highway or look out on your receiving dock and see our new trucks, it is a clear reminder Extruders is continuing to invest time, money, and resources to become the industry choice for aluminum extrusions.

    If you would like to visit the facility for a tour, please contact your Extruders sales person or for more information on Extruders and its quality aluminum extrusions and services, please visit www.extrudersinc.com

    About Extruders
    For more than 35 years Extruders has dedicated itself to building a solid single-source aluminum extrusion company with a national presence, and with an uncontested reputation for quality, delivery, and service. Founded in 1975, Extruders began producing aluminum extrusions on a single press, today our capacity exceeds 75 million pounds annually and we are investing over $2 mil a year in capital equipment to continuously improve quality, safety, and capacity. We currently employ approximately 200 people at our 218,881 square foot facility in Wylie, TX. We serve a variety of industries located in the Midwest and throughout the United States and Mexico. We provide value added aluminum extrusion products and solutions to industry leading companies.

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Extruders: The Right Choice

Since our founding in 1975 we have been committed to developing long-standing relationships with our customers by becoming the supplier of choice. From our humble North Texas beginnings we have grown to provide products and services to customers across North America. We achieved this growth by developing a culture of continuous improvement so we can continue to deliver outstanding customer service through consistent, on-time delivery of superior quality products with short lead times.

We all have experienced challenging times since the general manufacturing slowdown that started in 2008. Our performance in these volatile years validated the fundamental strength of our Company, which is a workforce committed to providing greater value to our customers.

Executing and Delivering in a Challenging Environment

    We have pursued significant capital spending initiatives to increase capacity and improve production
    capabilities, while assure continuing product quality.

    We have refined both production and business processes to react faster and provide better
    value.

    We will continue to invest in our facilities to support growth and further enhance our effectiveness so we can continue to differentiate ourselves with outstanding customer satisfaction and strong delivery performance.

    As we progress through 2013, we are upbeat in the short-term and highly optimistic in the long-term, as the US economy continues to recover.

We thank you for your business and we look forward to meeting your emerging extrusion and fabrication needs.

If you should have any questions or comments please contact us.

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