Kiwiplan Machine Speed Modeling (MSM) Assists Amcor Fibre Packaging in Achieving a 25% Productivity Improvement.
Based on a presentation by Campbell Angelo, Amcor Fibre Packaging
Although at the pilot facility the MDC XMT (Super MDC) automation was helping to improve the machine setup times at Amcor Fibre Packaging, it was noted that the actual machine speeds were generally static. The Ward 3, Martin 924, and Martin 1628 operators preferred to operate speeds around 140 sheets per minute instead of the Name Plate operating speeds of around 300 sheets per minute. There would seem to be a narrow speed bandwidth around which all jobs invariably ran. This became known as the “Comfort Zone.”
Machine Speed Modeling (MSM): Setting Target Levels
A system needed to be developed to expose genuinely difficult jobs (slow) versus the general “Comfort Zone” operation. Once again Kiwiplan offered a solution.
Kiwiplan added a Target Run Speed function onto the factory floor software systems, PCS and Factory Floor Feedback (FFF), to enable the automatic output of correct job speed targets on any given machine. Known as Machine Speed Modeling (MSM), this new module is dynamically responsive to production and, therefore, is able to change target production versus machine time levels to the demand of changing routes. These following specifics met all of Amcor’s requirements:
- The automated targeting system had to be able to deliver the correct speed targets to machines based on job parameters and machine capability.
- The system had to be able to dynamically change a job speed target if the machine routing was changed.
- The system had to be accommodated within all existing infrastructure (minimize capital costs).
- Any feedback mechanism had to support the collation of all performance figures into a single productivity reporting metric.
The new MSM performance features have been neatly incorporated into the existing production scheduling software to provide a single operator interface on the factory floor.
Determining the Target Speed Matrix
These new software features, now installed at Amcor’s Rocklea and West End sites, did provide an excellent system that delivers the correct speed targets and setup targets out to the factory floor. However, that then presents another problem, how to determine the level at which to set the speed targets.
The Kiwiplan MSM module effectively builds a multi-dimensional array of targets, constructed around any set of parameters such as job sheet size, number of print colors, and the board grade used, among others. The MSM Graphical User Interface (GUI) allows each machine to be setup with any number of parameter targets, drawing on any of the job characteristics available in the comprehensive Kiwiplan PCS data set. These targets can be further defined by developing logical statements within the job characteristics. The Kiwiplan MSM module has the capability to define extremely specific target ranges depending on the complexity of the jobs run and their characteristics.
The MSM module has created a completely new set of speed targets unique to each machine and to each job run on that machine. PCS sends job speed targets to FFF that have been modeled and setup within the MSM software. Each characteristic has a performance degradation that is set into the matrix—the lowest value from any of the matching characteristic profiles sets the machine speed target.
Visibility of Speed Targets
From the FFF feedback screen, operators can see the machine job queue and can also view the current real-time on-line performance of the machine. A machine speed trend line shows a historical trace of the machine speed (green line) over the duration of the shift. An additional target line (grey line) has been added to make the performance expectation as visual as possible.
A Comprehensive Lean Manufacturing Strategy Gets a “Boost” In mid-November 2003 an active program was put in place on the Martin 924 to begin testing, documenting, and comparing the machine performance against job targets. Shift performance was compared daily, and a program of work was initiated to address any mechanical issues raised by the shift operators. The planned outcome was a situation where there could be no reason for the machine to perform below the optimum MSM target speed.
The results of the trials were powerful indeed, when over the two-week period the machine performance jumped by 25%. What must not be forgotten is that ultimately machine performance is determined by the actions and attitude of the crews; therefore, Kiwiplan helped the crews by ensuring that the correct and current information was at their fingertips. Kiwiplan also helped Amcor manage performance by providing a graphically visual on-line performance comparison. As the saying goes, “If you can’t measure it, then you can’t manage it.”
As a direct result of the Martin 924 project, the Kiwiplan MSM software has been recently installed across the entire Queensland region. Similar performance improvements are starting to be seen across many of the machines. The software is now in the process of being installed in Western Australia and is soon to be installed in the Victorian sites.