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Cost Of Sales: Taylor Bins

During the project, we've made the company ready for investment - the team has seen this, and it has lifted morale. Our new Process Engineer (full time improvement leader) is seen as a really positive addition". - Tony Nunn, General Manager


Industry

Metal waste and recycling containers

Support Level

2 consultants, 3 months

Objective

Increase capacity, avoid additional costs for customers, and implement a lasting legacy of ongoing improvement

Results

  • An unprecedented step change in capacity
  • Reductions in labour and waste costs which allowed for investment in new tooling and put a limit on costs for customers
  • Full time process engineer hired

Why was chartwell brought on board?

Taylor, a strong business with a high profile presence in the UK waste container market was recently acquired by a private equity company.   They wished to reduce cost of sales to enable re-investment in the business, with the ultimate aim of being able to produce a wider range of products and serve an increasingly global market opportunity.

An initial assessment by Chartwell focused the improvement efforts on two areas of the business:

  • Increasing capacity in Finishing (new container painting and finishing) by 30 % to 40 %, without a corresponding increase in cost of manufacture
  • Increase plastic lid manufacturing efficiency and reduce polymer waste to significantly lower the production costs whilst keeping output stable

Results of the 3 month Project

"We've invested in five new tools in roto-moulding , and have a process in place for refurbishment of our other tools.  The team has rightly been asking for years for these to be replaced.  Now having made improvements we are in a position where we can reinvest savings back into the business and it is great to see the ownership the team has taken now their concerns have been listened to". - Tony Nunn, General Manager.

Finishing

  • Capacity has increased 30 % to 40 %
  • Substantial cost savings by reducing the requirement for overtime

Roto-moulding

  • A 30 % increase in capacity has created space for other products
  • Productivity improvements
  • Reduced polymer waste, saving money with a sustainability benefit

Examples of Project Work

How were waste savings achieved in this well established rotomoulding process?

PROBLEM:

Rotomoulding was experiencing significant over usage of polymer with on average lid weights 20 % higher than the original design specification.


ACTION:

Working closely with the operators, it was learned that extra powder was added to the mould in order to prevent problems.  The operators had experienced problems where the lids failed to form properly in some specific areas of the mould.  The improvement team focused their efforts on fully understanding the root cause of the quality issues.


RESULTS:

It was identified that the placement of the cooling pipes was not optimal for the mould shape.  A series of trials were conducted to reposition them to correctly distribute the molten plastic, resulting in perfectly formed lids across all parts of the mould, completely eliminating the problem and enabling operators to feel confident in dosing the correct amount of powder.

How was it possible to reduce from two shifts to one without loss in output?

PROBLEM:

The theoretical capacity of the department was almost double demand, but inefficiencies meant that roto-moulding was making only just enough with two shifts plus overtime.


ACTION:

Full tool utilisation was not achievable due to the lid finishing process which is a manual, time consuming job.  By upgrading the condition of the tools, this finishing stage required less manual intervention and became easier for the operators.  Taylor invested money to update tools, as well as purchasing new tools which are most commonly used.


RESULTS:

The team were able to remove one shift through voluntary redundancies.  They are currently meeting and exceeding the customer demand with one shift instead of two.

“Since we have gone to a single shift the dynamic in the plant has completely changed. There is a much stronger team spirit.” - Tony Nunn, General Manager

How has the business continued to drive improvement since Chartwell left site?

“When Chartwell left, we had a prioritised list of actions to drive the new initiatives to bottom line realisation. We get regular support from Andy (Chartwell Partner) who comes in to talk to us and review how we are progressing.

There is always a time in a business’s development where bringing in outside support becomes strategically advantageous and having seen the benefit of the improvement efforts we decided to take on a Process Engineer full time. Additionally, now we can produce more, we can sell more – we are in the process of investing in expanding the capabilities of our marketing team.”
Tony Nunn, General Manager