How a packaging manufacturer increased $144k in factory capacity?

Where will we allocate the retrofit budget for our machines? This question had been asked over and over, every year by one of our customers, a major player in the packaging industry. Imagine the situation and even try to remember if it happens in your company: the CFO gathers 4 or 5 managers and launches this question in the room, projecting the budget for the following year. The industrial director made the same challenge with his factory management. And that's where the "opinion fight" begins. (We like to say that without data, you are just another person with an opinion). Each one brings his/her side, wanting the best for his/her line. But no one can prove why retrofit money should be allocated to a particular machine, since downtime and scrap data are difficult to gather without a proper system. So, did you identify yourself within the situation? In the past, the company used solve this situation in an unsatisfactory way: CFO, CEO and Industrial Director ended up dividing the retrofit budget into equal parts. This ends up not being an effective strategy, not even measurable in the medium term of the plant but at least it made everyone in the…

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How to identify bottlenecks in a packaging production line

Imagine a production line in which only good parts are produced (100% quality), as fast as possible (100% performance) and without stops (100% availability). The Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) would equal 100%, which means “perfect production”. Even though dreams can come true (100% OEE), perfect production is rather rare, and in many cases, the manufacturing shop-floor can become, for those directly involved in the production, a nightmare instead. Machines fail for several reasons, humans make mistakes and all of this together makes it impossible to achieve perfection. Digital Maturity in the Packaging Industry Benchmarking Report: Download it now for free! The good news is that there is always room for improvement, i.e. we can always do things better. Aiming at that, a continuous improvement process should be put in place to tackle exactly what prevents a production line from being perfect. In the “Theory of Constraints”, Eliyahu M. Goldratt, author of the best-selling book titled “The Goal”, argues that one should follow “The Five Steps of Focusing” to achieve the goal (e.g. maximize overall throughput): Identify the system's constraint(s); Decide how to exploit the system's constraint(s); Subordinate everything else to the above decision(s); Alleviate the system's constraint(s); If…

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