Reduced Production Costs Through Machine Uptime Improvement

The Challenge:

Vestcom saw the need to reduce labor and material scrap costs in the high speed press operations in New Century, Kansas. Issues were identified in front end areas – customer order processing, planning and scheduling – as well as on the production floor. High schedule variability and multiple short order runs negatively impacted machine efficiency. In production, excessive machine downtime limited capacity and increased production costs. A project was initiated to improve planning and scheduling of orders and generate significant improvement to machine uptime in production.

The Results:

The project exceeded savings goals, providing Vestcom with a 3:1 ROI. Labor cost per foot was decreased by 15%. Scrap costs were reduced by 23%. Numerous changes were installed in front end and production areas to increase machine uptime and reduce scrap.

Key Front End changes:
• Improved order consolidation.
• Improved order sequencing.
• Alignment of Scheduling with appropriate run speed and product change over standards.
• Reduction to the number of change-overs.
• Increased interaction with customers to help anticipate order demand and proactively combine orders.
• Creation of a 24-hour schedule lock down period, with an elevation protocol to authorize schedule cut-ins.
• Improved planning with a Daily Production Planning meeting attended by all key department leaders.

Key changes in Production:
• Creation of product change over teams to execute activities in parallel (average change over times reduced by 50%).
• Pre-staging of dies and inks prior to change overs.
• Re-alignment of operator schedules to allow machines to run through breaks.
• Reduction to the number of changeovers, reduction of change over time, reduced scrap and improving line uptime/efficiency.
• Reduced downtime of machines at shift changeovers.
• Improved run speed – creation of an optimal run speed matrix by product / by machine type (with critical input from skilled operators) to schedule and run products (with quality output) – average run rates improved by 18%.

The Client Experience:

“From the initial meeting (Sales) to the Analysis “report-out” and through the final results meeting on-site, the Carpedia team impressed me with their consistent, low key, methodical and highly analytical approach. My experience matched exactly with the referral interviews I conducted prior to kicking off our project. More importantly, the Carpedia team delivered a highly successful project and managed to win over a skeptical, highly resistant team at our facility in New Century, Kansas…you’ll be glad to know that I will happily provide references on Carpedia’s behalf. More importantly, I will be in touch about future projects.”

EVP & CFO, Vestcom International Inc.

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