Performance Improvement Ideas

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"Preventive maintenance and process improvement."

August 12th, 2006 by Mike Strawbridge

By establishing a systems of checks and scheduled repairs, you can increase both quality and productivity while making your machines safer for the operators.  Often waste can be reduced as well reducing the environmental impact of the process.

A Preventive Maintenance Success story:

At Westvaco's Folding Carton Plant in Cleveland, TN we serviced two printing presses making cartons for Marlboro and other cigarette brands.  These presses had a goal speed of 180 ipm at the beginning of the project.  This had been their goal for many years and was often obtained but not always.  The average press speed was near 170ipm.

We found that often these presses we limping along with many worn or broken parts and sometimes taped together as the part was functioning "OK" and not work stopping to fix it.  Also, because service was on a breakdown basis, there was never time allotted to repair the "little things".   By establishing a system of checks and a work order system, these seemingly small problems were slowly corrected during routine maintenance and changeover times.   Also, by monitoring failures, wear items of the press were set up to be changed before they failed and even before they started having an impact on quality which was more important in this application.

Once the program was fully implemented, the average press speed was up to 220 ipm.  Also, by continuing to monitor performance of the press and identifying trouble spots, the performance of the press continued to improve.   Worker safety and product quality improved and waste was decreased in this application as well for a truly integrated solution.


PREpare or REpair.

The choice is yours.

Mike Strawbridge August 12, 2006