SelfLube Adds a Second Shift to the Mix

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SelfLube adds another shift to double capacity and meet the needs of its customers. In over 20 years, this is the first time SelfLube has operated an additional shift.

SelfLube Mold and Die Components

The first time in over 20 years SelfLube adds a second shift to boost capacity.

Effectively we double capacity without the need for a big capital investment to expand the building and buy more machines.

To better serve the needs of its customers, SelfLube, the leading U.S. manufacturer of mold, die and special machine components, is adding a second shift. This is a big step for the company, which for the twenty-some years it has been in business, has only operated a single shift.

"Operating on two shifts is definitely more difficult," observes Owner Phil Allor. "But, the rational for doing so is pretty compelling. Effectively we double capacity without the need for a big capital investment to expand the building and buy more machines. This is also a smart way of expanding capacity because we are automatically doubling the capacity on all our bottleneck work centers. Since bottlenecks can change depending upon the mix work, going after them can be an exercise in frustration. Here it is not. All we need to do is assign second shift workers to the work centers with the biggest backlog."

The tricky part of starting up an off-shift is that most people like to work first shift and so those that wind up on second shift tend to be newer, less experienced employees. When problems arise, which they inevitably do, you have a less qualified dealing with them. Painful mistakes are often made. This was not a problem for SelfLube because a group of veteran employees volunteered to work the off-shift so the skill level on the off shift will be pretty much the same as it is on the first shift.

"SelfLube is a customer service business," adds Allor. "We have a growing business which indicates we have been pretty good in the customer service area in the past. Now we will be even better."

SelfLube's move comes at a good time. Tool builders see the economic advantage of using more standardized components. But, to make this work there needs to be a component supplier with rock solid reliability. SelfLube intends to be that supplier.

SelfLube supplies build shops throughout North America. Its product line of some 8,000 standard part numbers includes wear strips, wear plates, bushings, gibs, parting line locks, lifter slides and related components.

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Jordan Fifelski
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SelfLube Mold and Die Components