Unlock Hidden Production Improvements and Cost Savings with a Packaging Line Audit.
The key to realizing undiscovered improvements on your packaging line—or solving known problems for that matter—is often a fresh perspective. A line audit can be one of the best ways to gain that perspective and add real-world data to support decision making, such as potential production and performance improvements, cost savings, efficiency gains, and downtime reductions. This is particularly true in today’s fast-paced environment, where production requirements evolve, and continuous improvement is crucial.
Packaging line audits can help resolve known production issues, validate processes that are working efficiently or identify potential areas for improvement. Having a clear understanding of existing or potential issues helps customers get the most value from their packaging line, often without extensive capital equipment spending. For example, one of Septimatech’s customers wanted them to provide an expensive multi-lane feed screw drive solution to resolve a product spacing issue as a result of jamming during accumulation. Septimatech conducted a thorough assessment of line performance, including speed and balance, product flow and behavior, container handling, angles and touchpoints, line design and dimensions. They gathered in-depth feedback from operators and plant engineers and measurements so they could develop simulations and testing of possible solutions. Through the assessment, they discovered the issue could be more cost-effectively solved with adjustments to guide rails to change container handling and product flow during accumulation and through corners and curves into individual lanes.
Assessing Your Line:
Professional line audits are a collaborative process. While the right measurement, simulation, and testing tools are important, observation, communication skills and industry experience are also important to putting togethering a wholistic view of a line’s strengths and weaknesses. In-depth discussions with plant engineers and operators are crucial to get a clear understanding of processes, variances, potential issues, and production goals. Experienced professionals can help customers identify productivity improvements and cost savings they may otherwise miss. This can make a huge difference as companies make strategic improvements and plan packaging investments.
For example, minimizing downtime by improving changeover efficiency, repeatability and accuracy may yield higher output at less investment and performance risk than pushing line speeds of existing equipment or acquiring new machines at that time. Understanding the customer’s business goals as well as their packaging line and products is important to ensure you collect the all the necessary data and provide the best options and recommendations for current and potential future goals.
Professional line audits should include a detailed report that shows collected gains, and potential timeliness. Simulations also provide a clear illustration of current situation versus potential improvements. Helping customers make informed decisions is the goal.
Benefits and Outcomes:
Most customers go through a line audit looking to solve a specific problem or to gather information before they make a new investment. In most cases, they gain a better view of their line’s performance and some guidance for prioritizing improvements and investments. Additionally, audits help companies stay focused on continuous improvement and keeping equipment in optimal condition. As a result, customers get better value out of their packaging machine assets and develop stronger relationships with their suppliers.
- cost savings
- reduced downtime
- minimized product damage
- enhanced container handling
- improved throughput production
- enhanced line design
- faster, more accurate changeovers
- improved ergonomics and safety
- increased line and machine flexibility
- increased OEE.
When to Conduct a Line Audit:
Customers typically request line audits when they are having production or performance issues, adding or changing SKUs, or investigating line changes or new equipment. Septimatech has found though that companies with high production rates, multiple products, and frequent changeovers benefit from regular line assessments with a focus on continuous improvement and discovering potential issues before they become a costly problem. Incremental changes to minimize downtime or enhancements to the line as production requirements change or equipment simply ages can make a huge difference to overall performance, much like a tune-up. Depending on production volume and changeovers, regular intervals could be annual, bi-annual or quarterly.
Septimatech Experience and Expertise:
It’s vital to find a partner that looks at the business benefits of your packaging solutions, not just the technology. Septimatech has enhanced container control and performance on more than 2,700 different machine models on hundreds of lines worldwide in nearly every consumer, industrial, and pharmaceutical industry.