Canadian Plastics

Internet sites and business issues relevant to Canadian processors and moldmakers (October 01, 2002)

By Cindy Macdonald   

Global business requires more effortIt has occurred to me more than once that the phenomenal growth of the Internet must be a boon to translators. In a quest to make their web sites (and their product...

Global business requires more effort

It has occurred to me more than once that the phenomenal growth of the Internet must be a boon to translators. In a quest to make their web sites (and their products) more accessible to global buyers, many companies translate the site into multiple languages. Although I expect it of the large multi-nationals, it is refreshing to see smaller companies, such as Acrolab Ltd.(1), going multi-lingual too. The Windsor, ON-based supplier of heat transfer technology has added French and German versions to its web site.

“Clear communication and sensitivity is a key component of good customer service,” explains Andy Williams, managing director. “If we recognize the need for multilingual web sites, marketing materials, product manuals, etc., then we are recognizing that our clients are not homogenous.”



Taking moldmaking to a new level

A European project designed to develop innovative software for online moldmaking management will be led by CAD/CAM supplier Delcam (2). The emould@work project is funded by the European Union, and will involve a consortium including software suppliers, trade associations and moldmakers from the UK, Spain and Portugal. “By harnessing the power of the Internet, Emould@work could improve supply chain communication, speed up projects, reduce mistakes and facilitate decision-making at all levels,” explains Julia Moore of the UK industry association GTMA.


An oral tradition goes digital

The knowledge of an experienced operator or technician can be invaluable, and now it can easily be shared. Rockwell Automation (3) and Sunset Learning (4) have partnered to develop knowledge management systems that will help companies catalog the knowldege that exists on the plant floor and use it to enhance manufacturing at multiple locations.

In one project, the two are working with the homecare division of a major consumer products company. The goal of the project is to transfer paper-based information on engineering and maintenance procedures to a central database that employees can access via the Web.

“The customer has identical applications in several plants, but no easy means to share knowledge from site to site,” explains Andy Sloan of Rockwell Automation. “As a result, manufacturing, operations and engineering at different locations often duplicate procedures for maintaining, repairing or installing equipment without realizing it. We are working to collect the knowledge so our client can share best practices globally and avoid redundant efforts.”

Rockwell Automation will work with Sunset Learning to fuse information and educational materials with technologies that range from databases to e-portals, deployed on wired or wireless platforms.



ERP and more

A plastics-specific ERP software manufacturer has broadened its product offering by pairing up with a provider of planning applications for quality control and engineering data management. DTR Software International (5), supplier of The Manufacturing Manager, will now be a distributor of software products from Integral Solutions Inc.(6). ISI products are designed to assist manufacturers with meeting and maintaining their quality requirements for ISO, QS-9000 and FDA standards.




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