The plastic manufacturing process is not just one, single process. There are seven different types of plastics, plus many more if you delve down into the various sub-categories. Each has a unique manufacturing process. The seven main types are:
- PETE or PET - Polyethylene Terephthalate
- HDPE - High-Density Polyethylene
- PVC - Polyvinyl Chloride
- LDPE - Low-Density Polyethylene
- PP - Polypropylene
- PS - Polystyrene or Styrofoam
- Miscellaneous plastics (including the sub-categories - polycarbonate, polylactide, acrylic, acrylonitrile butadiene, styrene, fibreglass, and nylon)
Despite the more recent environmental issues, plastic continues to be an essential element of many products, including essential parts for everyday items such as kitchen appliances and automotive parts.
In keeping with the shift in public opinion and environmental pressures, companies constantly need to improve the manufacturing process, and this is where ERP software can play a significant role.
How to improve the manufacturing process
From both an environmental point of view as well as a commercial standpoint, the plastic manufacturing process has to be reviewed continuously. The availability of raw materials changes as does the ongoing health and safety issues. All these changes have an impact on the bills of materials that govern the final product.
Keeping track of the changes is critical. It is not only fundamentally important in terms of controlling cost; it is also crucial from a batch quality control angle too. Installing ERP will help you to improve the manufacturing process.
Control across all aspects
ERP software facilitates complete control across all aspects of the plastics manufacturing process. From the initial sourcing of base, raw materials, though its distribution, storage and picking, to the creation and modification of bills of materials, as well as the financial accounting and customer relationship stages, the right ERP software helps manufacturers to manage the complete cycle from batch to batch.
The compounding of the various plastics and even its colouration must be meticulously controlled. The smallest variations can have catastrophic results, both commercially and environmentally. The right ERP software program can ensure that standards are rigorously met. But more than that, it can even address changes in demand through its demand-driven material related planning (MRP) capability.
When the demand for any product changes, it poses real problems for manufacturers. Lead times can escalate overnight, or huge stock surpluses can quickly mount up. Both scenarios can have significant outcomes. ERP software that incorporates demand-driven MRP can help you to address these problems before they happen.
The importance of compliance
Another important issue within the plastic manufacturing process is compliance. With ever-increasing health and safety watchfulness and continuous reviews from the environmental lobby, keeping compliant has never been trickier. ERP software can help you to achieve full compliance across the board.
Managing risk and uncertainty
The plastic manufacturing process is risk inherent. More so that many other commodities because of the associated environmental issues. ERP software can reduce the risk. It can do this because all the data will be assembled in one area. ERP's business intelligence and forecasting functions can highlight risk areas and offer solutions.
The use of ERP software in the plastic manufacturing process has never been more influential than it is now in terms of helping manufacturers to manage risk and uncertainty.
Find out more about how ERP can benefit your operation by contacting WinMan ERP Systems today.