Manufacturing News
Manufacturing News

Packaging lines got you down?

Tips to maximize packaging line uptime

tracksys oee web based reports
TrackSYS, a web-based dashboard, reports OEE, performance and quality.
Source: Parsec Automation.
When your packaging line seems to be down half the time—or when operating, it seems to be inefficient—it’s time to take a closer look. How much does it miss the mark of best-in-class performance? When was the last time key performance indicators (KPIs) were checked?
A recent white paper, Top Ten Proven Tips to Maximize Uptime and Boost Performance, helps packagers get their ducks in a row by providing some easy-to-use-and-understand concepts. 
The paper, from Parsec Automation Corp., summarizes how companies become leaders in Lean Six Sigma, operational excellence and world-class performance. It assumes processors have taken steps to improve productivity, but may have fallen behind in keeping up with programs. The paper provides 10 suggestions to improve performance.
Tip one, set overall improvement goals, suggests that while manufacturers may have started their lean initiatives years ago, they shouldn’t set less-than-ambitious goals that will only marginally improve performance. Goals need to be measured against best-in-class companies and peers.
Tip two, review current KPIs, suggests that many companies measure performance and produce charts for historical reasons without any goals for the future. Too many manufacturers use inaccurate data and come up with 100 percent line efficiency, indicating their target values are based on average performance—not best demonstrated rate or theoretical rate. Tip three suggests implementing overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), while Tip four recommends setting line-specific improvement objectives.
Tip five supports gaining management’s commitment and convincing it of the value of OEE improvement in terms of the overall business objectives. Tip six suggests automating KPI data collection. Like the old axiom, “If you don’t measure it, you can’t control it,” in the case of KPIs, “If you don’t know about it, you can’t fix it.” Many processors are stuck because they have a lack of accurate information that could help fix their line’s performance.
Tip seven suggests implementing a role-based web dashboard to view and understand the information the data collection system has obtained. Reports should provide ready access to the information that users need. Tip eight recommends engaging associates directly, which helps operators run their lines more efficiently with the new information obtained from the data collection system.
Tip nine encourages identifying champions and key improvement techniques. Otherwise the focus will be lost for running the improvement program. The final tip suggests sharing the success, which will encourage everyone to work together as a team. 
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