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Cost Management in Plastics Processing: Strategies, targets, techniques and tools

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Cost Management in Plastics Processing: Strategies, targets, techniques and tools
Author: R. J. Kent
ISBN 978-1-906479-09-1

Published: 2012
pages 288

Price: $199.00 + S&H
  • Summary
  • Table of Contents
  • Author(s)
  • Related Publications
Third edition of a Plastics Information Direct best-seller.

Cost management has always been a vital topic for plastics processors. This is not the same as cost cutting; cost management is a process of understanding where costs arise and how they can be controlled throughout the manufacturing process, from design to disposal, which will improve both profits and management. Done well it will contribute to world-class performance, in the prevailing financial climate it may be essential for survival.

In this book Dr Kent poses some essential questions about the way companies consider, monitor, manage and reduce their costs, such as why there is traditionally so much emphasis on labour costs and so little on overheads. He then offers a clear and well-structured route-map broken down into simple tasks and achievable goals. His advice is relevant to companies using any plastics shaping or finishing processes.

This revised and expanded third edition acknowledges the ongoing changes in the business of plastics processing, such as the increasing scrutiny of environmental impacts and the rise in energy costs. As always it is highly readable and thought-provoking, clearly illustrated and designed to deliver real results.

1 Cost management

1.1 What do you want to be?

1.2 Structured management

1.3 Structured management - where are you now?

1.4 Financial and management accounting

1.5 Cost structures

1.6 Activity based costing

1.7 Activity based management

1.8 Financial structure - where are you now?

1.9 Product costing - 1

1.10 Product costing - 2

1.11 Old ideas and new ideas

1.12 Investment for cost management

1.13 Successful cost management projects

1.14 Cost management projects - where are you now?

1.15 The cost management process

1.16 The cost management process - where are you now?

1.17 World class principles

1.18 World class principles - where are you now?

Key tips

2 Design and development

2.1 Fundamentals

2.2 Competitors and markets in design

2.3 Competitors and markets - where are you now?

2.4 Total product planning

2.5 Total product planning - where are you now?


2.7 The design and development process

2.8 The product design specification

2.9 Teams and processes - where are you now?

2.10 Design for manufacture and assembly

2.11 Value analysis and engineering

2.12 Design tools - where are you now?

2.13 Sustainable design - resource efficiency

2.14 Sustainable design- manufacture

2.15 Sustainable design - use

2.16 Sustainable design - end-of-life

2.17 Sustainable design - raw materials

2.18 Sustainable design - distribution

2.19 Sustainable design - where are you now?

2.20 RoHS and WEEE

Key tips

3 Materials

3.1 Reducing the raw materials cost

3.2 Purchasing

3.3 Supplier partnerships - where are you now?

3.4 Purchasing - where are you now?

3.5 Materials content cost management

3.6 Materials use cost management

3.7 Materials content and use management - where are you now?

3.8 Inventory management

3.9 Inventory management - where are you now?

Key tips

4 People and systems

4.1 People and systems

4.2 People and systems - where are you now?

4.3 People - recruiting the right people

4.4 People - training and development

4.5 People - upward management

4.6 People - projects

4.7 People - where are you now?

4.8 Systems - quality, environmental, energy and health and safety

4.9 Quality management systems – the rationale of a QMS

4.10 Quality management systems – documenting a QMS

4.11 Quality management systems – operating a QMS

4.12 Quality management - where are you now?

4.13 Environmental management systems

4.14 Environmental management systems - starting out with an EMS

4.15 Environmental management systems - managing interactions

4.16 Environmental management systems - the basic EMS

4.17 Environmental management systems - operating an EMS

4.18 Environmental management systems - where are you now?

4.19 Health and safety management systems

4.20 Health and safety management systems - where are you now?

4.21 Risk assessment - introduction

4.22 Risk assessment - quality

4.23 Risk assessment - environmental

4.24 Risk assessment - health and safety

4.25 Risk assessment - where are you now?

Key tips

5 Production

5.1 The manufacturing strategy

5.2 Production control systems

5.3 MRP/MRPII/ERP systems

5.4 JIT systems

5.5 OPT systems

5.6 Production control systems - where are you now?

5.7 Waste and non-value activities

5.8 Work cells

5.9 Machine size

5.10 Tool acceptance and initial machine setting

5.11 Machine operation

5.12 Machine maintenance

5.13 Machine utilisation

5.14 Economic batch quantity and set-up time

5.15 Scheduling and batching

5.16 Manufacturing systems - where are you now?

5.17 Supplier development and integration

5.18 Quality management

5.19 Quality costs / quality savings?

5.20 Performance measurement

5.21 Performance measurement - where are you now?

5.22 Culture change and training

Key tips

6 Overheads

6.1 Energy management - the vital questions

6.2 Energy management - more vital questions

6.3 Energy management - internal benchmarking

6.4 Energy management - performance assessment and forecasting

6.5 Energy management - external benchmarking by site

6.6 Energy management - external benchmarking by machine

6.7 Measuring energy costs

6.8 The site energy survey

6.9 Injection moulding

6.10 Injection moulding - all-electric machines

6.11 Extrusion

6.12 Extrusion blow moulding

6.13 Motors

6.14 Compressed air

6.15 Cooling

6.16 Drying

6.17 Buildings

6.18 Energy: general management - where are you now?

6.19 Energy: financial management - where are you now?

6.20 Energy: technical management - where are you now?

6.21 Energy: awareness and information - where are you now?

6.22 Waste minimisation

6.23 The site waste survey

6.24 Assessing waste performance

6.25 Tools for waste minimisation

6.26 Managing waste minimisation

6.27 Waste minimisation - where are you now?

Key tips

7 Tools for cost management

7.1 Cost management tools

7.2 Histograms

7.3 Pareto principle

7.4 Cause and effect diagrams

7.5 Scatter diagrams

7.6 Deviations and CUSUM

7.7 Flow charts

7.8 Process capability studies

7.9 Statistical process control - control charts

7.10 Mind mapping

7.11 Other tools


Robin Kent is widely known across the plastics processing industry for his expertise in manufacturing efficiency which he communicates through his books, presentations, training and consultancy. He was awarded a Personal Contribution award in the 2010 Plastics Industry Awards in the UK

He has been involved with plastics processing in a variety of sectors including extrusion and injection moulding for 40 years. He has been technical director of several major European plastics processing companies but also understands the pressures on smaller businesses, having run his own plastics engineering consultancy since 1996.

He has published over 400 papers and articles and also written a companion volume: Energy Management in Plastics Processing: Strategies, targets, techniques and tools, published in 2008 by Plastics Information Direct. 

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