When Crown Packaging in Richmond, British Columbia decided to upgrade to a new AME starch making kitchen, they looked for additional ways to receive a return on their investment. To do so, they turned to Kiwiplan.
One of the cost-cutting opportunities Crown Packaging identified was related to their need to add Water Resistant Adhesives (WRAs). Due to many variable issues on the previous semi-automatic system, they had always run with WRAs. They determined that most of those issues would be resolved when they moved to their new kitchen. However, one major issue remained—the human element. Operators would still be needed to monitor the corrugator schedule to see whether or not dosing was required. The potential for error would be ever present, and the cost could be significant.
They also wanted to be able to dose in any additives for specialty products they might run. For example, de-foamer is automatically added if they have batches that tend to foam up from the pumps. In addition, if they needed a higher bond application due to a specialty coated paper or for other reasons, then that could be added automatically as well.
Crown Packaging decided that the best way to facilitate the automatic monitoring of the dosing of various additives was through Kiwiplan’s electronic links capability. For each type of additive, they assigned indicators that are then stored in Kiwiplan’s Corrugator Scheduling System (CSC). CSC downloads the indicators to the Starch Dosing Link that sends a signal to the AME kitchen when to start and stop dosing.
“The Kiwi/AME dosing ability has more than met our expectations and our projected potential savings,” comments Mark Miedema, Operations Manager at Crown Packaging. “Another intangible benefit is the fact we do not need to watch over this activity and are assured of it working without issue.”
He concludes, “Even though we have a lot of curtain-coated, cascade-waxed, and wax-impregnated products, along with a very high volume of food-based products that are kept in a cooler which then requires WRA, we have curtailed our WRA additive usage by 65%. This amounts to a savings estimated at approximately $50,000 per year. Some of those savings are attributed to fresh starch and less WRA additive being required, but the majority is attributed to the dosing abilities between Kiwiplan and AME.”