Pharmapac Case Study
“AspectPL gave the production floor structure.”
See how Pharmapac is using AspectPL to meet their customers’ quality, capacity and delivery requirements.
Pharmapac was started by Lance Hopwood in 1980, moulding products for a range of pharmaceutical and supplement companies.
Brett Hopwood joined the family business in 2008. To diversify and bolster the existing pharmaceutical, supplement and healthcare sales, Pharmapac decided to invest in manufacturing packaging for the NZ honey & foodstuffs markets.
Significant investment in new machines and plant was made as well as moving manufacturing into a new facility on Auckland’s North Shore. Annual sales have increased considerably since 2008 with substantial growth in most markets. Today Pharmapac has a significant position in the NZ rigid packaging market.
Brett Hopwood, Pharmapac’s General Manager says Pharmapac’s focus is their customers. “Being agile enough to meet changing demand, insisting on high quality checks and controls, holding enough stock and producing less waste. We pride ourselves on knowing as much about our customers’ business as they do.”
This focus on the customer was part of the reason Pharmapac installed AspectPL in 2014.
“The traceability AspectPL provides gives our customers confidence that we can meet quality, capacity and delivery requirements.”
“Our customers are blown away when they see AspectPL on the big screen in our Production Manager’s office showing all the running jobs. The traceability AspectPL provides gives our customers confidence that we can meet their quality, capacity and delivery requirements. We can show them data that demonstrates we offer less waste, good cycle times, better quality and superior service.”
“I don’t know how we would have managed customer demand swings without AspectPL.”
Brett says “Live scheduling is immensely valuable. Our biggest driver to invest in AspectPL was because our resources had grown to a stage where it was getting hard to do manual scheduling. This decision has proved hugely useful for our Production Manager who now has visibility across the plant. We use this data to help us cost our products and it’s very useful for planning machine purchases.
We also use the AspectPL data to plan for customer demand. It’s vital to know what your capacity is and how much capacity we are using, as customer demands can have massive swings which make it hard to plan at times. I don’t how we would have managed customer demand swings without AspectPL.”
How else has AspectPL helped the production team?
Nick Tienstra, Pharmapac’s Operations Manager explains. “AspectPL gave the production floor structure. Our team can easily schedule jobs in the best order to handle change of colour or product. We reduced the amount of paper used while achieving efficiencies and savings.
The data that AspectPL supplies gives us a benchmark so we can measure improvements. Having the data in one place means it’s easy to see reject rates and if the machine is running out of cycle and helps us measure our OEE.”
“AspectPL data helps us get a grasp on any quality issues – straight away.”
AspectPL data is used differently by management, production and quality teams. The management team use it for capacity analysis, costing, machine and plant purchasing decisions and planning. The production team really like the visibility it gives the production floor. The Quality team takes full advantage of the traceability AspectPL offers. Brett explains.
“A big advantage is our Quality Manager has set up his quality checks in AspectPL. We know when a product was produced, who packed the job, what the QA results were, any job comments, any down times and the cycle times of the machine. We can go through all that information to get a grasp on any quality issues straight away. To find that information before we had AspectPL would not have been possible.
We use AspectPL more than we initially thought we would. For example, our Quality Manager also uses the AspectPL information for SPC data analysis. Because everything gets recorded in AspectPL, we can see what the results of the jobs are at any given time. This statistical analysis has helped us to control the process that keeps our production runs and parts within specified parameters.“
“AspectPL is good value…… the monthly subscription model works well for us.”
“We wanted a system that would be supported locally. AspectPT is NZ based which meant we are able to sit around the table and talk to their people. The AspectPT team made the install process easy and trouble free. They are always prepared to listen to our needs and are open to making changes to suit our operation.
We also feel its good value. AspectPL only requires one centralized PLC (not individual PLCs at every machine) which gave us cost savings. I was very comfortable with the initial spend and the monthly software license fee subscription model works well for us.”