News | April 6, 2017

CRB Helps Food Seasoning Manufacturer with Improvements to Batch Setup Operations

This food seasoning client retained CRB to conduct an operational improvement study to develop the backup data and calculations required to demonstrate time reduction and return on investment value for proposed revisions to their batch ingredient setup operation.

The objective of this study was to identify opportunities for improvement during the batch ingredient setup operation to determine how many batches could be reduced with a higher blending capacity.

One specific team of setup operators was selected for an on-site evaluation. CRB shadowed these employees and studied their activities from the start of their shift. Their movements for the batch ingredient setup operation were mapped, and non-value-added activities were identified. These activities were namely excessive motion/transportation. The distances and frequencies of movement during the operation for full batches and partial batches were recorded, and their time was tracked down to the second. With this data, spaghetti maps were created to illustrate the actual flow of the process in terms of time and distance.

After having studied the spaghetti maps, it was determined that the total distance traveled by the operator weighing partial batches was 2.2 miles/day, which translated to about 1.1/hours per day in time. The total distance traveled by the operator gathering materials for full batches was 8/miles per day, which translated to about 1.6 hours per day in time. This time spent was considered non-value-added time.

Several improvement opportunities were identified to reduce non-value-added activities and time. These improvement opportunities cumulatively had the potential to reduce the non-value-added activity time by 1.6 hours/day, a reduction of 20 percent. Further analysis showed approximately 0.9 hours saved for the full batch and 0.7 hours for the partial batch. The largest perceived opportunity was to change the blend batch size and campaign length.