Removal of the end of line packaging from bulk lines providing efficiency gains and OEE improvements to a medical device manufacturer.
Each of the 32 bulk lines had a dedicated packaging station which required additional labour, created bottlenecks with the changeover of each packing job. This led to increased downtime and higher rejection due to process changeover and stoppage. On some lines the packaging created the bottleneck in the process and limited output.
A simple solution was devised where as rather than individually handling the items they were collated as ten within a small plastic liner. This allowed the items to be bulked and handled more simply to facilitate carton loading at a centralised packing station. Simple rules were applied to a ‘pull’ system by visiting the line with the highest work in progress (WIP) and all orders to be cleared within 24 hours. In order to ensure that the lines could be cleared quickly enough with the changeovers moved to a centralisedpacking line the schedule and shop floor were modelled using Promodeland different scenarios analysed. This also allowed for ‘what if’ scenarios to be analysedand the idea to be sold to the operators. Once the schedule demonstrated that it would not be affected a mocked up line was created and a lead crew trained on the proposed equipment. The central packing line was developed and installed with each of the bagged products bulked into large bins at the lines where they could be transferred. All packaging items were held at the centralised packaging station in a Kanban system and full validation of the equipment undertaken. Minimal disruption was caused during the installation and implementation and no production was lost.
- OEE line improvements of 6-7% on the bulklines
- Significant Labourreduction
- Capital approval to delivery 14 weeks
- Reduced bulk line rejects
- Improved production flow and house keeping
- Improved customer packing
- Reduced customer complaints through missing labels
- Improved machinery utilisation