A Dairy Products Group_ Chile
“We could be selling 20% more product if we could only produce it! We have more than enough installed capacity, but we just can’t get the product out. I don’t know whether it’s a Planning problem, or a Maintenance problem, or even a problem of Supervision. Whatever it is, it has to be resolved, because maintaining output levels in a growing market means that you are falling behind!”
Overview of Changes
The first phase of the project which was aimed at increasing throughput was essentially an Engineering Project. Drawings were prepared for the Plant and its infrastructure and capacities were analyzed. Following the analysis the Plant was shut down for 5 days while a major overhaul of the infrastructure between the Milk Reception Tanks and the Packing Machines was undertaken. Additional Buffer Tanks and Coolers were installed, ‘Multiway Taps’ which allowed milk to be diverted in multiple directions were reduced to a minimum and piping was rerouted to eliminate complexity. As far as possible, product was moved from ‘A’ to ‘B’.
The result was that a set number of limited routes fed into each of the packing machines which made it possible to run each machine at all times, with the exception of the time required for mandatory clean-downs and product changeovers. Having more than doubled the throughput per hour, the 4-shift operation was reduced to 2 shifts.
Following on the success of the initial project the scope was increased to include a reduction of Milk Loss, improved yield of materials including both raw materials and packaging and improved energy utilization. The annualized savings for the project were calculated to be €5.3M.