Digitized Process Streamlines Hardware Ordering and Manufacturing

Husky says new components can be configured via a web interface and manufactured in a completely automated process, slashing lead times from several weeks to a few hours.

In a special event at its facility in Dudelange, Luxembourg, injection molding technology supplier Husky Injection Molding Systems launched a digitalized end-to-end manufacturing execution process it’s calling the Next Generation Operating Model (NGOM).

John Galt, Husky’s President and CEO, said in a release that NGOM is his company’s answer to the digitalization trend currently sweeping industry. “Husky recognizes this shift,” Galt said, “and we have been actively working to embrace digitalization for some time.” In a practical sense, Husky said the NGOM program allows it to deliver products with greater speed and flexibility, as well as reduced cost, thanks to a “fully digitalized architecture” that allows it to leverage its global manufacturing capabilities and scale up to business as it arrives.

Wesley Grove, Husky’s Vice President of Operations, NGOM, told Plastics Technology that the focus on end-to-end digital is referring to the connectivity from end-to-end. “Like many suppliers, we have elements of our operating model that are digital, for example engineering automation,” Grove said. “The true differentiation is thinking about digitization and connectivity from end-to-end versus a siloed approach, which has been typical in many industries for decades.”

Grove said that NGOM pilot program has been focused on PET mold tooling components with expansion to hot runners and machines in the process of development and/or industrialization. In terms of geographic rollout, Husky’s sites in Luxembourg and Canada have been the focus to date. However, Grove noted that NGOM is a global initiative involving all business units and functions within the company.

Husky said that since the NGOM’s virtual and physical environments work together within a closed loop, the system is able to continuously improve on the products and services delivered by feeding information back into the system and allowing the company to improve upon quality and speed.

Luxembourg’s Economy and Labor Departments, as well as Siemens, also attended the NGOM kickoff event at Husky’s EMEA headquarters in Dudelange. The NGOM initiative began in early 2017, with Husky initially collaborating with the Ministry of the Economy and Luxinnovation to research and develop an end-to-end digital environment proof of concept. During this time, Husky also worked with Siemens on software development and overall process flow.