Improve OEE and performance of packaging lines

Paul Boughton

GE Intelligent Platforms is releasing the Proficy Smartstart Packaging Performance Solution, a pre-built software and services package that offers a low-risk, proven approach to improving performance in packaging lines. This helps customers to improve overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), production rate, availability, and order fulfilment, while at the same time reducing waste and labour costs by providing critical insights into high-speed packaging line operations. When fully implemented, customers have seen OEE increases on packaging lines of between 5 and 12 per cent over time.
The package is part of a suite of GE Intelligent Platforms' Smartstart Solutions designed to deliver business results in as little as 30 days with minimal risk by packaging full-featured software, a proprietary rapid-engagement methodology, high-impact best practices and application templates, with the right delivery and domain expertise to ensure results.
Sheila Kester, general manager of operations management software for GE Intelligent Platforms, comments: "Packaging operations are under intense pressure to achieve production and quality objectives while reducing costs, adapting to rapidly changing schedules, maximising asset utilisation, and continually improving overall performance. Troubleshooting, analysis, and root-cause-level correction of packaging performance problems within packaging environments are extremely challenging. This Smartstart solution is built to address those critical issues in an accelerated manner. "
The Smartstart Packaging Performance Solution, developed by GE Intelligent Platforms Premier Solution Provider Entegreat is a value-added application of Proficy software components that can be deployed rapidly to help operators identify root causes of stoppages and quality issues. Engineers and maintenance technicians can use the system to gain comprehensive insights into the packaging performance at each manufacturing site within an enterprise.
Entegreat has combined the power of GE's Proficy software with its deep understanding of production efficiency management to deliver the Packaging Performance Solution. The package provides:
* Pre-built displays that operating teams will use during shift hand-over meetings to ensure the incoming team gets the facts quickly and understands what is currently causing the most problems, sees how the line is trending – and enables them to get onto fixing current problems.
* Real-time visualisation of packaging line operations data, including tracking of downtime and waste – highlighting exceptions and the areas where performance is below par – with a 'path to action' that teams can follow to identify root cause quickly and directly.
* Tracking of team performance aimed at motivating the teams to meet their targets whether it is during the shift or even year to date.
* Focused reporting and intuitive, user-friendly interface – so the system can be used when the line is stopped and answers are needed now.
Noel Peberdy, president of Entegreat, says: "Packaging Performance is a prime target for most manufacturers because it is so critical to their overall business performance. Packaging is typically responsible for a large percentage of the manufacturing cost, and any hiccups in packaging can quickly impact customers.
"Order fulfilment and supply chain responsiveness are dependent on reliable, efficient, high-performance packaging operations. This is particularly challenging on high-speed lines. When a line is down, every minute that ticks by is lost production. Operators do not have time to fiddle around, trying to figure out what the root cause of downtime is. We have worked with large and small manufacturers on literally hundreds of packaging lines to develop the processes and systems to maximise up time – and to support continuous improvement initiatives that improve OEE and sustain higher levels – even as SKU complexity increases, line changeovers increase in frequency - and as more experienced operators retire."
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