Case Studies

Skip navigation

Capacity Increase: Specialist Chemical Resin

Increasing the capacity of a continuous resin manufacturing process by 43% in 6 months

Industry

Specialist Chemicals – Resin manufacturing

Objective

Increase resin output by 30% to delay >€10 million CapEx by a year

Project Length

6 months, 1.5 consultants

Results

  • Resin output rate increased by 30% week-on-week
  • High capacity trial demonstrated capability to increase output by 43% with existing assets, once sales reach this level
  • Large (€10M+) CapEx investment postponed by at least 2 years, and site team working to push this out even further
  • A much smaller CapEx investment (


Why was Chartwell brought on board?

With sales increasing year-on-year, the capacity of the site to produce resin was being exceeded and sales were being lost. 

The site team had made a plan for a >€10 million CapEx investment, which would increase the site's capacity to enable them to keep pace with rising demand, but the cost, lead time and potential of this to divert investment away from other key business areas were causing concern.

Chartwell were brought in to see whether more capacity could be obtained from the existing assets to delay the CapEx investment.

 

Key Workstream Examples

Optimising Process Parameters

  • The bottleneck of the process was the continuous distillation phase. A Variable Tree Model was used to understand the parameters that control throughput.
  • This highlighted the need to increase jacket temperature, reduce pressure and reduce solvent quantity.
  • A series of controlled lab and plant trials were carried out to optimise these key variables.

Sustainable improvement processes

  • Working with the data already being produced on site, the team implemented a new set of performance visualisation tools, making historical performance and productivity issues much easier to spot
  • The site team were coached in the use of these tools, and a simple set of tiered meetings established to review the data on a daily and weekly basis to take actions and escalate issues to the appropriate forum
  • Using these structures, the team can continue to improve and ensure that previous improvements don't backslide after Chartwell support ended.