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New Process Integration: Lead Time Reduction

Solved new process technical issues to increase manufacturing efficiency by 45% in 4 months

Industry

Emig - Soft Drinks Bottling

Project Length

3 months - 1 consultant

Objective

Secure a step increase in efficiency, in order to be able to contract pack a new customer’s volume; solve technical and quality issues related to full sleeve bottling

Results

  • New process run-rate targets achieved within 4 months of project start, with manufacturing efficiency increased by 45% 
  • Demands of additional contract met, worth €3 million profit (EBITDA) per annum
  • Improvement tools and structures coached to the team enabled them to increase efficiency by a further 30% within 12 months of project start
"Breaking these constraints enabled Emig to introduce an industry-changing process for a new customer, securing 3 Million euro EBITDA per annum for six years" - David Wallace, Finance Director, Emig GmbH

Why did this manufacturer join forces with Chartwell?

An existing UK client asked Chartwell to assess capacity and help improve a critical contract bottling process.  Productivity needed to ramp up quickly, following a new contract packaging deal with a US based customer.  However, there were unresolved technological constraints with a new full sleeve format on the exterior of the bottle, and massive pressure to boost capacity before the peak season and new sales arrived.

Emig has a highly motivated leadership team who were working hard to improve both the throughput and quality of a new sleeving operation.  Chartwell coached the team to quantify and benefit from the true potential of the line.

Key Workstreams:

Line Control Improvements 

  • The design of the new line lacked buffers and the ability to run above target run speed - hence any short stops on the line were being directly converted to lost output
  • Working with the site operations and engineering departments, the team designed process improvements to enable upstream and downstream processes to continue running even if one part of the line stopped, and designed appropriate buffer and speed controls such that the line could "catch up" and prevent short delays from impacting the bottleneck process

Technical Improvements

  • Using a structured problem solving approach, the team solved an array of technical problems generating line stoppages - such as how to apply a full sleeve to a cold bottle covered in condensation.
  • Due to the newness of the line, many of the process parameters were not well understood - they were adjusted differently by each operator and some viewed the shrink tunnel as an apparent “black box”.
  • Working with the team to understand the variables governing the process and build knowledge and standardisation around the most critical variables enabled an effective and common control strategy to be developed
  • Chartwell trained the team in Fault Tree Modelling, a tried and tested technique for solving complex problems with multiple interrelated root causes - enabling them to continue solving difficult technical problems after Chartwell support had ended