Improved set-up time delivers operational success

improved set-up time

Executive Summary
Following considerable success at its Dongguan plant, China’s Coca-Cola Supply Chain Management Company (SCMC) decided to introduce TRACC Best Practices to the Xiamen plant. The plant’s key driver for rolling out TRACC was set-up time reduction. Before the roll-out, product set-up time at Xiamen took approximately 12 hours, which had a negative impact on net time utilisation. STR adoption was not an easy process. The turning point was to get the front-line operators involved and engaged in the plant-wide CI effort. This resulted in a highly motivated workforce and significant results were achieved within the first 12 months of implementation. Set-up time reduction became an internal benchmark for other SCMC sites to follow as the product set-up time dropped from 12 hours to just 4 hours. Financial gains totalled RMB 500 000 with a three-month return on investment, and SCMC has made an across-the-board decision to also introduce TRACC at the Suzhou and Beijing sites.

 

Results
Set-up time dropped from 12 hours to 4 hours
All operators became fully involved in the process of analysis and improvement, and they were sufficiently trained on STR before engaging in any activities
A highly motivated workforce — more than 85% of the STR improvement suggestions came from front-line operators
RMB 500 000 return on investment within the first three months

 

Situation
In the FMCG industry, time efficiency is paramount to operational success. Based on this premise, SCMC Xiamen plant started off by sending all key personnel (those earmarked to become key implementers of TRACC Best Practice) to the Dongguan site for training. This exposure ensured complete buy-in to WCM best practice by these key personnel, making the beginning phases of Xiamen plant’s WCM journey that much more seamless.

Xiamen plant’s key driver for rolling out TRACC was set-up time reduction. Before the roll-out of TRACC, product set-up time at Xiamen took approximately 12 hours — the length of one shift. This impacted net time utilisation and it became a key challenge to reduce set-up time. TRACC implementation started with Leading and Managing Change, Teamwork, 5S, Visual Performance Management, and Focused Improvement. Thereafter Autonomous Maintenance, Business Centred Maintenance, and Set-up Time Reduction followed in rapid succession.

Action
The Set-up Time Reduction (STR) process was video-taped and the condition was recorded according to TRACC guidelines, such as waste elimination, separation of internal and external activities and streamlining of the activities. Operator road maps were analysed by means of spaghetti diagrams, tasks were simplified and ECRS (Eliminate, Combine, Reduce, and Simplify) was used to recognise the transferring activities. The plant also found it necessary to do a small amount of reconstruction to equipment to support parallel operations and to simplify the production preparation. Naturally this resulted in a small financial investment in the reconstruction, but it was soon justified by the results.

STR adoption was not an easy process. In the beginning, various employees felt that the company was becoming more scrupulous and they therefore lost passion in the process. A profit improvement project was quickly implemented by department management in order to address this, and a two-month target for result delivery was set. This restored employees’ confidence.

Results
Significant results were achieved within the first 12 months of TRACC implementation. Set-up time reduction became an internal benchmark for other SCMC sites to follow as the product set-up time dropped from 12 hours to 4 hours. The turning point was to get the front-line operators involved and engaged in the plant-wide continuous improvement effort. This resulted in a highly motivated workforce that believed they could contribute significantly to the success of the company.

All operators became fullyiStock_000001450640Medium involved in the process of analysis and improvement, and they were sufficiently trained on STR before engaging in any activities. More than 85% of the STR improvement suggestions came from front-line operators.

Financial gains totalled RMB 500 000 with a three-month return on investment. As for the problem of insufficient support from relevant functions, TRACC implementers engaged the relevant functions into the project. This improved communication gave them a sense of involvement and ownership of the achievements.

All standard procedures and control methodologies were set up once the initial activities were completed. After the project, the results were tracked and STR was listed as the site’s daily focus indicator, which was displayed in the relevant positions to be monitored. The TRACC improvement group also report improvement results to management on a regular basis.

Xiamen now regularly reviews and tracks the improvement results to further recognise improvement opportunities. They do this by having the front-line improvement team continuously set new targets to challenge the norm, as well as some new targets being set by management.

Following an across-the-board decision TRACC was subsequently introduced at the Suzhou and Beijing sites too.

Company Background
Coca-Cola Supply Chain Management Company (SCMC) was established by the major bottling companies in China to manufacture and supply non-carbonated products for the Chinese and some regional export markets. The company operates through a supply location network of 17 plants.
Using TRACC, world class manufacturing was launched at the Dongguan plant in 2005 with measurable success. Based on these successes, it was decided that the Xiamen plant (established in 2006) would start their WCM journey in 2007.
Roughly an hour’s flight from Hong Kong, the SCMS Xiamen plant operates four beverage lines with both hot fill and aseptic filling technology. It produces close to 20 different types of non-carbonated drinks, mostly juice and tea products.

Disclaimer
This resource has been prepared for general guidance on matters of interest only, and does not constitute professional advice. You should not act upon the information contained herein without obtaining specific professional advice. Competitive Capabilities International (CCI) does not accept or assume any liability, responsibility or duty of care for any consequences of you or anyone else acting, or refraining to act, in reliance on the information contained in this resource or for any decision based on it.

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