Joe Macrone, Manufacturing Director, Lavazza Professional
I learned early in my manufacturing career the old adage, “what gets measured, gets done!” I understood from the Lean training that I received early on that if you wanted to improve or change something you first had to measure it to understand your starting point. In 2015 I took over operations for a factory that was still largely operating on pen and paper with manufacturing and quality logbooks capturing important metrics including machine performance, quality metrics and traceability information. Looking around our factory it was apparent that we needed a better way of doing things, a system by which we could not only capture our data electronically, but a system which was more visual, more effective and one that would position us for more continuous improvement opportunities moving forward.
Every idea worth implementing begins with a vision of what the future could look like. For me personally I envisioned walking into our factory and seeing a large electronic display board with real-time performance information telling me how the factory was running at any given moment. I also reasoned that this would be helpful to our machine operators and our technical team as they could immediately see what the priorities were across the factory floor. Where were we doing great (top machines) and where were we not doing so great (bottom machines) and more importantly, why? I reasoned that this type of system would assist in prioritization, lead to shorter breakdown periods, and drive machine and operator efficiencies across the factory.
“Every idea worth implementing begins with a vision of what the future could look like”
We assembled a project team and developed a Terms of Reference (ToR) document to clearly articulate the business goals we aimed to achieve and to provide sufficient detail so that a functional specification could be generated as a follow-on document. i.e., this document answered all of the “What,” “Why,” and “When” questions, leaving just the “How,” and “Who” questions to be addressed in the functional specification. From there we initiated a process to evaluate multiple Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) to determine which one would best be suited for our application. After a thorough evaluation and vetting process, we landed on TrakSYS® by PARSEC. Collaborating with PARSEC our local Engineering Team developed the functional specification to be delivered and constructed thousands of OPC tags across our machines. Our Engineering Team also worked closely with our Quality Team to ensure we also had in our system a process for capturing key quality data, routine checks as well as traceability information that were formerly in written logbooks. One of the key goals of the project was to eliminate all paperwork from the factory floor, digitizing all our information and as we like to put it, “bring our factory data to life.”
The project itself lasted about six months and while it was not inexpensive, the results of the implementation speak for themselves. We successfully eliminated all paperwork from our factory floor. We introduced And On screens to our factory floor, huddle up areas and our daily operations meetings. From there we also leveraged our newfound digital information to drive our monthly continuous improvement meetings which continue to eliminate waste and drive efficiencies across our factory. So what were some of the tangible results? Over the course of the next several years we drove OEE about seven percentage points higher!
We saw real payback in our investment as we carefully measured and improved areas in real-time that needed to be addressed. The other important element of this project that should not be left understated is the human change element of this type of implementation. Oftentimes in these types of implementations factory associates can tend to view these systems as “big brother.” We avoided all this in our implementation because of the great culture we had in place prior to the implementation. We built trust with our associates and truly everyone involved had ownership and took part in improving our factory performance. I would also add that we developed some healthy competition across our shifts as each shift tried to reach higher standards and achieve new factory records for output and quality. As a result, many new records have been set by our teams. I can’t overstate the importance of our factory associates in making these accomplishments possible. We have a fantastic manufacturing team at Lavazza Professional and we’re still on our continuous improvement journey utilizing the MES and tools developed several years ago. It all began, however, with “what gets measured, gets done!”
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