Family Bakery Raises Performance

June 16, 2016
4 min read

A family run bread manufacturer is leveraging WinSPC real-time alerts to get a handle on overfill and underfill waste.

The large scale bakery was started more than sixty years ago by immigrants with a commitment to delivering their signature family baked goods. Through years of hard work they were able to develop a significant West coast following, then continued to form a regional presence, and today a national one.

Their unique baked goods are now found in nearly every food store in America and are utilized by restaurants that want to leverage the unique flavor and quality of these products.

With the days of hand-crafted batches years behind them, the company must now depend on large-scale production to meet demand. The current team seeks to improve its breads further using the best modern manufacturing techniques and technologies.

One of their key goals is to reduce product giveaway and eliminate underweight, non-complying breads. The production team is therefore highly interested in understanding the processes that impact bread weights.

Prior to using WinSPC, the team was collecting critical bread measurements using paper check sheets and complex Excel spreadsheets that were a challenge to manage. Reporting on quality data had become increasingly elaborate and time-consuming.

In fact, executives had to call upon an employee from the IT department every time they needed a high-level report. The employee would spend hours compiling and manipulating data using Excel templates and macros. Based on the needs of basic reporting alone, the team had decided to streamline all of its data collection activities into a single software application.

Production personnel and supervisors were readily aware that bread line information wasn’t available and actionable in real-time. A leader on the quality team with past SPC experience knew that if line workers were to gain better control of their processes, instant feedback would be needed.

The team ultimately chose to install real-time SPC software on the manufacturing floor because it was designed to provide solutions to these challenges. The team picked WinSPC because DataNet Quality Systems was flexible enough to meet the company’s special needs, and the DataNet team could extend WinSPC with custom add-on applications that solved challenges unique to this operation.

WinSPC provided a simple interface that allowed line workers and quality personnel to enter product information in a step-by-step fashion, guided by pictures. This meant no more paper check sheets, no more Excel spreadsheets, and the integration of their quality data tagged with the proper production context, within a single, centralized database.

Pre-built reports could now be produced by any user with permission throughout the entire organization. And requested results of any complexity arrived within minutes. Additionally, creating new reports and status displays could be accomplished with a drag-and-drop interface from within the product. Thus, customized visual summaries were now at the fingertips of the entire team.

But the team also was in pursuit of real-time responsiveness. A goal of the quality team was to involve line workers in proactively improving each line’s performance to achieve greater efficiency. To this end, WinSPC was configured to visually alert workers when an underlying process change was detected. The workers were then empowered to investigate the problem, take a corrective action if needed, or contact a supervisor if necessary.

WinSPC simplified data collection, made it easier to create summary reports, and provided instant production feedback to involve workers in the continual improvement of their lines. With this additional visibility and control, the bread team is looking forward to new gains in production efficiency and discovering details of the process that had never been uncovered before.

About DataNet Quality Systems

DataNet Quality Systems empowers manufacturers to improve products, processes, and profitability through real-time statistical software solutions. The company’s vision is to deliver trusted and capable technology solutions that allow manufacturers to create the highest quality product for the lowest possible cost. DataNet’s flagship product, WinSPC, provides statistical decision-making at the point of production and delivers real-time, actionable information to where it is needed most. With thousands of installed facilities worldwide and distributors across the globe, DataNet is dedicated to delivering a high level of customer service and support, shop-floor expertise, and professional Continuous Improvement, Six Sigma, and Lean Manufacturing services.