Case Study 2-01968
Paying attention to details pays off.
The client’s “Back to Basics” initiative stressed flawless execution in all aspects of the
manufacturing process. IET’s skilled engineers utilized their training and expertise
to scrutinize specific operational practices for any deviations from standard, which
resulted in millions of dollars flowing to the bottom line.
This food and beverage company processes and packages its products around the world with
up-to-date, high-speed manufacturing technologies.
The company had launched an initiative to improve productivity in every plant without
spending any capital. The Midwest Region devised a fast-paced approach that relied on small
teams of improvement specialists with strong backgrounds in manufacturing operations. A
team would spend one week in each plant identifying priority areas of opportunity then
conducting whatever studies were necessary to document the potential savings and
recommend specific actions to reduce costs. The teams would conduct follow-up visits to
review implementation progress and suggest additional cost reduction activities.
The client partnered with four IET engineers over a six-month period to evaluate 20 plants.
IET’s engineers targeted processing equipment run rules, machine start-ups, crewing and
equipment operating parameters in their search for labor, material and equipment waste.
Using time study and delay study tools in conjunction with interviews and direct observation,
the teams spotlighted performance issues in these areas: adherence to plant maintenance
schedules; sanitation and start-up procedures; on-time starts, lunches and breaks; schedule
optimization; standard work methods; first hour OEE; material scrap; and operator training.
By the end of the week, recommended actions that required no capital expenditures and the
associated cost savings were documented and reviewed with the plant management staff.
Each plant received detailed recommendations on what they could do to reduce costs
without capital expenditures. IET engineers typically found annual savings of $1.0 to $1.5
million per plant with a total potential savings for the region of $27 million.
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