Case 2

Case 2 engl.
Task Optimisation of production and the resulting administrative processes
Sector Packaging industry, 1 location in Switzerland
Business sector Entire company
Number of employees Approx. 330
Implementation length 12 months

The facility where this project was implemented is located in Switzerland and manufactures a product for the food industry. This product is sold in Switzerland as well as throughout Europe. The problem was that the euro was too strong as compared to the Swiss franc, and the plant targets could no longer be met.

I started out by analysing the value stream of the direct production areas over a period of two weeks. It was determined that the KPI cascade was not continuous, the shop floor employees did not know their leverage, and there was a confusion between the results and key process indicators. A further shortcoming: There was no operational strategy, the managers were not consistently involved, and the shop floor management level did not know their KPIs. There were also issues revolving around set-up, shop floor management and leadership.

The project started by having everyone work through a target vision together. The indicators were then obtained and the earnings indicators were separated from the key process indicators and shared with the various management levels respectively. This approach was applied all the way to shop floor management. Through quick set-up, the first operational measures were implemented; also, the path of travel in some U cells was shortened, by adapting workplace ergonomics.

In this project, it became clear that even the benefits of quick set-up reached their limit when set-up costs were higher than the profit achieved when this is not done. This is because for most of the set-up processes, parts or materials were needed that were very expensive, such as plastic parts, which were discarded each time a set-up was carried out. Our measures: The number of set-ups was reduced to a reasonable and economically viable frequency.

Even if the project order was originally based only on the estimated production potential, we were able to point out, via the value stream and analyses, that the interface between distribution and production was not synchronised. This impacted several areas: order quantities, the right production lot sizes, starting times and multiple allocation of lines as compared to the production plan. After synchronisation had been optimised, the client was able to greatly exceed the envisaged effects and potentials.