Improving OEE Means More Profit
How AspectPL helps to improve OEE, resulting in more profit
In 2016 the parent company* introduced a “Lean” program at our manufacturing plant in Melbourne, signalling a focus on OEE improvement – overall equipment effectiveness – as vitally important. We were fortunate to have the AspectPL solution running on site already managing the production process. It allowed the seamless introduction of the lean program via an hourly count board, resulting in information being easily accessible. The plant was running at an average of 60% OEE year-on-year. Recent reports indicate that this has improved to almost 80%, meaning we’ve made significant savings and driven more profit in the business over a short period.
Every day we review the hourly count boards and OEE for each shift, identifying issues and driving continuous improvement. AspectPL enables this process, efficiently. Good data drives good problem solving. – Richard*, Operations Manager.
We have around 20 injection-moulding machines ranging in size from 110T to 3,000T. We manufacture industrial handling and packaging products, mostly in PP and HDPE materials, employing over 50 staff.
Having used AspectPL for a number of years, its scheduling and quality control components are deeply entrenched in our site’s culture and operations. Its enterprise-level functionality keeps both our planning and production teams happy, which in turn allows us to provide our customers with deliveries on time, meeting their requirements. AspectPL is critical to the successful operation of this business.
*Site name and plant manager not identified for confidentiality reasons.
Bonson - Local manufacturer takes on the world
How Bonson uses AspectPL to keep ahead of the pack
Bonson is an Auckland-based, family-owned company that manufactures injection-moulded rigid plastic food containers. Founded by brothers David Tsui and Johnny Chui in 1984, it employs about 60 staff producing over a million units a day in one of Australasia’s most sophisticated and tightly run food grade manufacturing plants.
From day one, David and Johnny had big plans for the business. They’ve had to relocate to larger premises many times to cope with strong growth – most recently just four years ago. Take a guided tour of their factory, which operates 24/7, and one of the first photos you’ll see is of David beaming proudly before a big red shipping container – the company’s first export to eagerly waiting customers in Australia. Today, Bonson exports 60% of production to that market.
How has a New Zealand company in the ultra-competitive packaging market achieved such success? By focusing relentlessly on quality and efficiency, says Production Engineer James Harper. “Most factories operate on the principle that everything that comes off the production line is good until proved otherwise. We take the opposite view. Until proved otherwise, everything is a reject.”
Designed for the plastics industry
Like most factory operations founded in the 80s, Bonson initially used manual systems for managing their production. But as David puts it: “We reached a point some years ago where, if we wanted to grow further, we needed to embrace technology and digitize our factory environment. We recognised that using clipboards and manually recorded production data were things of the past and we need to change. And the best technology we’ve found is AspectPL.”
AspectPL is a Smart Manufacturing System for discrete manufacturers such as those in the plastics injection and blow moulding industries. Bonson use many of AspectPL’s functional components including Planning and Scheduling, Monitoring, Production Scanning and Root Cause Analysis – to provide factory managers with unprecedented visibility and control over every aspect of daily operation.
“Equally important, AspectPL allows us to set a benchmark for quality. With AspectPL’s traceability function, if we produce a faulty product, we can go right back and see what machine produced it, what time it was made, who packed the box it was in, and how the machine was operating for hours either side of the product’s manufacture.
“When you can do all that, you have all the say over the quality of your products.”
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Viscount Plastics stretches productivity and profits
“The real and measurable improvements we have observed in Auckland have flowed into our other branches as AspectPL was installed in each factory.”
Viscount Plastics has eight manufacturing plants in Australasia, and a further five in South East Asia. Several years ago, Viscount’s head office set a goal to achieve World’s Best Practices within the plastic molding industry.
To achieve this goal a ‘lean manufacturing’ strategy was adopted and Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) such as stock turns, inventory accuracy, reject rates, cycle efficiency and equipment utilization were established. During the process it became clear that to achieve the KPIs it would be necessary to implement a software package which would support the program.
AspectPL was selected for a number of reasons:
- Ease of use – AspectPL is rich with functionality specifically for the plastics manufacturing industries yet it is intuitive and easy to use
- Real-time – information is collected in real-time so it is accurate up to the minute
- Reporting – AspectPL is able to provide reports highlighting issues in the factory, raw material requirements, labor resource requirements
- Connectability – Aspect PL’s ability to connect to Viscount’s Material Resource Planning (MRP) systems gave Viscount a seamless connection to ‘released works order ‘ and ‘bill of material’ information eliminating the need for double entry of data
AspectPL was initially installed in Viscount’s Auckland plant. Month-on-month improvements in Plant OEE meant significant results were achieved establishing the Auckland plant as the benchmark for rolling out the product to the other branches.
Viscount’s Technology Development Manager, John Buckley, recognized that AspectPL was a tool that could help Viscount achieve its Best Practice goals. “Aspect was brought to our attention by our Auckland management, and was already proven in the plastics industry which was one reason it appealed,” explains Mr. Buckley. “The real and measurable improvements we have observed in Auckland have flowed into our other branches as AspectPL was installed in each factory”.
David Ralph, Operations Manager at Auckland commented “Almost immediately we began seeing results. I was particularly impressed by how quickly our staff were able to get to grips with AspectPL. Not only is it user friendly, but because it delivers measurable results and there was no need for us to convince staff of its benefits. They could see it for themselves.”
“We have seen gains in many operational areas of our business. For example we used to have a number of people allocated to managing our complex production schedule on a full time basis. Now one person is responsible for the schedule and it’s a part time job. We are able to extract raw materials requirements across the whole factory for any given period and order just in time where possible. This has allowed us to get the best possible price.”
“We’ve seen an increase in productivity of between 10% and 15%,” says David. “Because AspectPL is so tightly focused on measuring OEE, that improvement hasn’t just been a one-off. Since installing AspectPL, we’ve been able to maintain that level of productivity improvement every year.
“We were confident we’d achieve a great ROI from this investment, but AspectPL has exceeded our expectations. It’s no surprise to me that all 10 Viscount Plastics factories have now installed the system. And those results I just mentioned – they’re across all factories. We couldn’t be more thrilled.”
Australian Blowmoulding Corporation uncovers hidden capacity
“It used to be hard to get a feeling for what was happening. Now if a customer rings, I can just look on AspectPL and see when the job will be done. They are amazed at how accurate I can be.”
Australian Blowmoulding Corporation (ABC) is a wholly Australian owned company specializing in custom molding of plastic bottles and closure systems for more than 20 years. Focusing on specific sized bottles has enabled ABC to develop an enviable reputation for quality and service in the specific industries of pharmaceuticals and personal care.
The Managing Director, Greg Ditton, was keen to purchase AspectPL so that he could have improved visibility over the production facility and get real-time information on what was happening to facilitate making much better decisions to achieve an overall improvement in productivity.
AspectPL was installed and ABC are very excited with the result. A key factor in the success of the product in the organization was the fact that Greg was the main sponsor and in due course this led the whole team to get behind the implementation and use of AspectPL.
“We love it, it’s a brilliant system” says Greg Ditton, “Before, only one guy knew what was going on. Now all our staff can see what jobs are on, how many products have been made, when it will finish and you don’t have to be an expert to use it.”
“It used to be hard to get a feeling for what was happening. Now if a customer rings, I can just look on AspectPL and see when the job will be done. I can tell them ‘we have made 22,671, and the job will be complete at 10 past 4 on Thursday.’ They are amazed at how accurate I can be.”
Greg goes on to say that “AspectPL allows us to analyze every part of our business, so we can make better decisions”. This is evident in the fact that ABC’s OEE is nudging 80% and the company is well on the way to achieving world’s best practice levels.
“It’s an awesome system. We haven’t seen a better system for molders and now we are more advanced than our customers.”
“It would not be exaggerating to say we are getting 10% or more extra production from our plant thanks to AspectPL.”
“We should have put this in three years ago”.
Premier Plastics maintains worlds best practises with AspectPL
“We could not run without AspectPL.”
Premier Plastics a custom blow and injection molder, was established in 1970 and is a leading manufacturer and supplier of ex stock ‘off the shelf’ packaging and custom packaging for the personal care, cosmetic, health care, pharmaceutical, veterinary and associated industries.
As the original customer to install AspectPL in their factory in Auckland in the 90’s, the manager at the time, Steve Habershon knew that collecting data in order to analyze and improve the business was very important and there had to be a better way than clip boards and spread sheets and doing things manually.
Now a number of years later, Premier’s business has grown dramatically where they now manage and control 100s of jobs a month across 43 machines.
Owned now by Cospak Pty Ltd, Steve is the Manufacturing head for the Group and states that “we could not run without AspectPL”. Scheduling would be a nightmare and co-ordinating tool changes and keeping the factory humming would take significantly more resources than they presently use.
Also the vast array of products and specific specifications for each product, AspectPL enables controls second to none where specifications and traceability are concerned.
Competing with the rest of the world, Premier are confident they can maintain Worlds Best Practises and are able to maintain consistent quality and continue to improve their performances which ensures their healthy growth in the market, just as it has since the early 70’s.
It is no coincidence that the growth of Premier and AspectPL have run in parallel. It has been a win win situation.