|Jimmy Chien, Vice President at Product Division of CoreTech System (Moldex3D)|
The industries are always working hard on the progress of the development project management in the plastics injection molding development workflow. The whole development process includes the product design, mold design, mold manufacturing, and mold trial stages, corresponding to different team members with different expertise, job assignments, and result submissions. It is a very important issue to manage and record the comprehensive workflow efficiently.
General PLM systems can be utilized to manage the mold design and development process mentioned above, but the problems are that they are usually very large and costly. Also, the general systems cannot fully cooperate with the standard process of plastics mold development. Thus, we need a job management system designed for the plastics mold development process for better workflow, project, and human resource management. Moreover, it often requires some specific customizations since the development workflow varies with different industries and enterprises.
To meet these needs, Moldex3D iSLM (intelligent Solution Lifecycle Management) provides the Task Management feature, through which users can customize different task items based on their enterprises’ needs. They can also utilize the work breakdown structure (WBS) feature to break down the mold development into the required tasks (Fig. 1). For every sub-task, the status, priority, assignees, and due date can all be specified. In this way, what processes every mold has undergone and how much time each process takes can be clearly visualized. In addition, users can present the detailed descriptions of the job submission and results in real-time by uploading messages, pictures, or other files (Fig. 2). The task items and project results can also be directly linked in this system.
Fig. 1 Break down the mold development into the required tasks with the WBS feature
Fig. 2 Users can record the complete task requirements of every task item by submitting text or pictures
Through the task item list (Fig. 3), users can clearly observe the work progress of every member, or the development of which molds are in progress. Meanwhile, various information including the estimated completion time of every task and the current time spent on the tasks can be attained. Viewing the work information through the list and calendar can assist members and enable supervisors to assign jobs and control the work progress, making the whole workflow smoother.
Fig. 3 Present individuals’ work in progress through the lists
For the completed task items, the visualized bar charts (Fig. 4) allow supervisors to quickly view the monthly project types and amount completed by the team so that they will know if the whole development progress is as expected. They can also confirm the work completion and contribution of every member through the charts. These reliable records can not only be helpful for future work arrangements but also are a good basis for staff training and reword systems.
Fig. 4 The completed tasks displayed by the bar chart
Finally, high-level managers can view the development progress of every set of molds under development in the enterprise (Fig. 5), and quickly understand which segments are facing difficulties. The task items that have not been completed on time will also be marked. Collaborating the information of the individuals’ task items mentioned above, managers can deploy the manpower efficiently.
Fig. 5 The presentation of each mold set’s development progress
Task management is always a critical issue in the development workflow. A good task management system can help the team perform and record work content more efficiently, improve the development efficiency of teamwork, and become a company’s data asset. These historical records can also be an important reference for new product development in the future.