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Accelerating Changeovers while Eliminating Errors
Facilitating People, Equipment, and Production with Production Control Database and Scheduler
Our customer had a fully automated line that had all equipment integrated for continuous operation. Whenever a new customer order was started, the Operator was required to go to each piece of equipment on the line and configure it to meet the specifications of that customer.
When you have 7 pieces of equipment and hundreds of SKUs, that is a lot of time spent on changeovers ensuring equipment settings are correct for each new SKU. This inevitably led to mistakes, and the time spent making changes contributed to line downtime.
Lost in all these adjustments was the ability of the Operators to optimize items like line speeds. That required even more time from the Operators at each piece of equipment, and the pressure to produce and keep the changeovers as short as possible always took precedence.
When the line was running, the Operator was then tasked with documenting the delay time for the change-over, and the settings that they had input. Operators were expected to record all production events and all line delay events. This documentation effort detracted from the focus of running the line well, and fine tuning for optimal performance.
Operators also held different opinions on the best settings to use on the line for each product type. This resulted in variable line performance, based on which operator was running the line.
Lyne Systems Upgrade
For this customer’s upgrade, the Lyne Production Optimization solution was added to the packaging operation along with an Operator Control Station. With this tool, the Operator worked with a schedule that was provided by the Supervisor. When it is time to switch SKU’s, the Operator simply selects the next customer order from his Control Station, and all the equipment on the line is automatically set to the specifications for that customer and SKU. Date Codes, PTI Labels, Checkweigher limits, and filler settings are all input automatically by the system. The possibility of error went to zero, and the time spent to adjust the equipment went to zero.
For items where operator activity is required, such as changing reels on the labeler, a scanner was configured by Lyne Systems to compare the label against the required label for the customer. If the wrong label reel is mistakenly put on, the line is stopped, and the operator is advised of the label error. This eliminated customer rejections due to label issues.
Making sure that every single equipment, code, and label setting were completely accurate for every order was never possible before. Now, the operator has no manual data entry and all settings are 100% correct. Selecting the customer order at the Operator Control Station is all that is required to have every customer order setup, accurate, and immediate.
Production and delay events that were manually recorded by the operator are now automatically tracked by Lyne Systems. The line now runs consistently with minimal operator intervention.
Changeover reduction time
Monterey Mushrooms greatly reduced changeover time and eliminated all customer rejections for label and packaging errors using Lyne Systems.
Before: Change over times were inconsistent and long. Supervisor audit was frequently required.
After: Change over reduced time reduced by more than 50%, and the audit requirement has been removed.
No Packaging Errors
Before: Expensive customer rejections for label and date code issues were common and often impacted the entire delivery load.
After: These rejections have been completely eliminated.
Before: Line speed settings were not adjusted by all operators. Manual changes by some operators unintentionally reduced line throughput.
After: Line speeds automatically adjusted in real time for the product and current conditions. Throughput consistently higher. Up to 65% on many products.
Before: Spillage resulted in product waste, and operators would often adjust infeed and line speeds to prevent spills. This resulted in lower throughput.
After: Lyne sensors and controls monitor line conditions continuously and prevent spillage, while consistently running at optimal throughput.
My worst operator now runs the line as well as my best operator.
Monterey is the America’s largest and only national marketer of fresh mushrooms, supplying unique, innovative, and high-quality products for sale to supermarkets, foodservice and ingredient manufacture operations, and for preparation of processed, canned, and frozen mushroom products.
Headquartered in Watsonville, California, Monterey has production, sales and administrative offices, internationally. An international, multi-facility company, with 10 mushroom growing farms strategically located throughout North America.