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The Best Changeover is NO Changeover: 7 Tips for Removing Packaging Line Changeover

May 21, 2013

Conveyor Changeover EfficienciesCertainly food and consumer goods manufacturers who master the economics of product variety, must also master their production assets. Best in class production performance dictates a choreographed response to market demand through effective planning, scheduling, inventory management and delivery.

According to Consulting Engineer’s, “Achieving Effective Changeovers Should Start with Eliminating those that are Unnecessary,” half of changeovers in a typical plant could be eliminated by standardizing products and effective production planning. From the article, here are seven steps to improve changeovers:

  1. Separate internal from external changeover operations:  Begin external operations that can be accomplished without stopping the production line before the system shut-down.
  2. Convert internal to external changeover tasks: Convert as much of the changeover process as possible to external tasks. Keep the production shut-down to a minimum.
  3. Create standard changeover tasks: Leave no changeover task to chance. Implement step-by-step procedures and assign roles and responsibilities. Then enforce adherence and compliance.
  4. Eliminate fasteners: Traditional bolts are inefficient and require too much time to loosen, measure and tighten. In addition, this process introduces too much chance for error. Replace fasteners with quick-change, tool-less selections.
  5. Utilize jigs and fixtures: The use of fixtures, such as a set-in rail will assure consistent, repeatable set-ups.
  6. Adopt parallel operations: To the extent possible, eliminate all serial operations. Plan to complete changeover tasks simultaneously to eliminate wasted motion and reduce shut-down time.
  7. Eliminate adjustments: Eliminate adjustments from the production process. Utilize equipment and controls technology with similar product planning to eliminate as much changeover as possible to keep generating units producing on the line.

For more information, download our white paper, “How to Increase Line Efficiencies by Removing Changeover.”

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