IET, Inc.
3539 Glendale Ave
Toledo, Ohio 43614

Case Study 3-10857

Go to the gemba; return with savings .

IET applied its industrial engineering expertise to reduce labor in packaging

The Customer

A market leader in packaging products for consumer, food and foodservice markets

The Challenge

The client believed there was an opportunity to reduce labor in the facility’s packaging operations. Due to the fact that the workforce was unionized, this client needed an iron-clad justification to propose any changes to the current crewing pattern.

The Solution

IET provided a detailed engineering analysis of the current packaging operations. During the two-week study, an IET engineer observed packers on all shifts and utilized work sampling techniques to measure packer work and non-work activities. Packing throughput was limited by the forming machines, so packers worked with different efficiencies. They could work quickly and have time to relax or they could work slowly with little time for extra in-area breaks. IET measured this “efficiency effect” and used the results to determine the amount of work actually required to support the packing operation.

By determining the actual work content required to support packaging, IET was able to recommend and justify a 20% reduction in labor without affecting overall throughput. In addition, IET provided low-cost work area layout improvement ideas that, if implemented, would further reduce the labor time required to support packaging operations by simplifying operator movement between lines.

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