Efficiency Improvement: Fresh Food Packaging
Cost savings of £2.7m delivered in 9 months without CapEx, resulting in threefold profit increase
Packaging for fresh food (Private Equity)
2 Consultants, 9 months
A threefold increase in profit prior to the business sale
- Cost savings of £2.7 million, driven by labour and materials savings
- Profit tripled to £4.1 million
- Increase in Enterprise Value of £12.7 million
Why did this Private Equity firm bring Chartwell on board?
The client already had a substantial share of the UK market, not expected to grow significantly. The Private Equity owner wanted to achieve maximum enterprise value and was looking to improve profit margins. An opportunity assessment was carried and £2.7 million of cost savings were identified in areas including manufacturing efficiency and material usage – the client’s objective was to realise these cost savings within 9 months.
Increasing Thermoforming Speed
- The speed of the plant's biggest line was deemed to be limited to 16 cycles per minute, assumed to be constrained by the diameter of the main cooling calendar roll – a new roll would involve significant CAPEX.
- The project team carried out trials and uncovered the underlying reasons for the perceived speed limitation of the roll. It was observed that their were quality issues with the material exiting the roll – one of these issues was a diagonal ripple on the right side of the plastic.
- Forensic examination of the problem showed the time between groups of diagonal ripples matched time it took the middle and bottom rollers rotate
- A key parameter in controlling the amount of ripple was the force applied to the sheet between the middle & top rollers
- Adjusting the angle between the top and middle rollers adjusted these forces and we were able to reduce this ripple to allow the team to increase speed - together with solving other quality problems, line speed was increased from 16 to to 25 cycles per minute
Reducing Tool Change Time
- Working with the maintenance and production teams, the tool change processes were closely studied
- In a series of workshops, proposed improvements were suggested to minimise the number of tasks that needed to be completed to change the tool, and maximise the number being done in parallel with production
- These changes were trialled and iterated upon, and accountability mechanisms developed to ensure they were executed on all shifts
- Through this process, the team were able to reduce tool change time from an average of 7 hours to a new average time of 45 minutes