Planned & Unplanned Downtime Reduction

Client Situation: The client is a leading CPG / food contract manufacturer who was looking to minimize planned and unplanned downtime. Their production process used a massive cooking system that worked on a timer system and did not have the surge capacity to accommodate substantial packaging downtime. Excessive downtime was resulting in excessive amounts of food loss and additional downtime if the scheduled cook cycle was missed due to packaging downtime. Our client asked us to estimate the total amount of planned and unplanned downtime, estimate how much downtime could be reduced, how to reduce it, and the associated savings.

Overall approach: We used an OEE approach to identify the gap to world class execution. The next step was to quantify all factors affecting planned downtime, including plant start-ups (which occurred once per week), changeovers, and plant shutdowns. We also looked at all activities that required line downtime such as operator and maintenance executed PM's to identify which tasks could be executed while the line is in production mode. Then we looked at the driving factors for all unplanned downtime occurrences to determine how much could be reduced and what steps would be needed. We used direct observations, interviews and the client's existing data to identify and quantify issues. Then we estimated the total cost impact of issues identified to help prioritize and collaboratively develop action plans against the leading cost drivers, which included associated labor and losses. Those action plans included root cause analysis, PDCA's, and many elements of the TPM asset management model.

Results: A 28% reduction in downtime opportunity was identified and improvement projects were launched against the leading cost drivers. We executed 2 Changeover reduction and PDCA Kaizen events with the client for a 14% reduction in downtime and provided training to the local improvement leaders to continue the effort and capture the remaining opportunity. The training included SOP's that are currently being used to train the workforce on the continuous improvement process and root cause analysis. This initiative was also executed at a sister facility.