intouch case studiesyou can see some of our more detailed case studies below or click here to read client reviews
Hanson Building Products – Air crete and Brick Division
We introduced the intouch Production Monitoring system in 6 plants during 2014 and have been delighted with the information it has provided. Since introduction it has provided real time information on how our plants are performing in terms of Speed, Availability and Yield which has enhanced production recording and process improvement activities across our business.
It has become a key foundation block in our pursuits with continuous improvement, the ability to process Operational Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) dynamically has allowed us to better quantify loss and enhance our capital expenditure application process with “real” data. Our original systems were paper based and reliant upon operators recording the downtime, this led to ambiguity and also a lot of non-value added activity for the management team processing the information. The intouch system links directly in to your machine operating systems so it quantifies the downtime accurately.
The mimic diagrams have been tailored to the specific needs of our plant management team, which concisely illustrates where the plant is running and shows process bottlenecks very quickly. The production and engineering staff are very complimentary of how information is captured through the use of HMI displays that are located on each machine, one operator said “It’s so easy, when the machine stops, all I have to do is press a few buttons and it captures the data there and then! It saves me a lot of time as no longer have to fill in hand written process logs”.
It has also been used during plant start-ups, having recently reopened the Accrington Brick manufacturing plant at the start of 2015 it was utilised during the factory acceptance trials to sign off against the agreed performance criteria.
With a further 4 plants planned for implementation of the system in 2015, it will then enable an Enterprise strategy to be realised, as it is possible for senior management personnel to access the information through any PC providing it is on the business network.
Tailor made reports have been created that allows the data to be consolidated and stratified so that key business decisions can be made quickly.
In some sites, we have already seen up to a 20-30% increase in OEE which we wouldn’t have been able to properly quantify without this system in place, the intouch Production Monitoring system has therefore been a major part to our success in 2014 and I’d certainly recommend it as a manufacturing tool.
James Jeffcott MIChemE CEng (Hons)
Process Engineering Manager
Hanson Building Products – Aircrete and Brick Division
To read more about the opening of the Accrington Brick Plant by David Cameron and the intouch system: Accrington Observer or Aggregates Business.
2Improved Performance at Plastique
Leading plastic packaging company, Plastique Ltd is experiencing substantially improved thru-put, more economic running costs and easier, more efficient task scheduling since installing an Intouch production monitoring system at its Nottingham-based manufacturing plant. One of the UK’s leading providers of thermoformed packaging, displays and components using state-of-the-art pressure vacuum forming and punch and die technology, Plastique runs a 24/7 operation producing innovative plastic packaging solutions to a wide range of blue chip companies operating in the cosmetics, stationery, pharmaceutical, electronics and drinks industries. As the plastic packaging industry is continually introducing new product designs the company currently has 2,500 tools in stock and produces at least a further 250 new tools each year. Plastique uses the system to monitor activity on eight thermoforming machines of different sizes and capability which currently handle a thru-put of approximately 90 tonnes of material per week.
Trevor Drew, Operations Manager at Plastique comments: “We liked intouch because they were able to provide us with a bespoke system which addressed our specific requirements. The system has been connected to each thermoforming machine and using specially designed keypads, relays up to date production status information to our database, which can then be viewed in a simple, easy to understand format on any PC in the company. “Our cycle times are extremely fast and therefore tool changing is very frequent.
The system greatly improves visibility which helps us to keep tabs well in advance of tool change requirements which greatly reduces down time and improves productivity.”
In addition to providing improved planning and scheduling, the intouch system eliminates the need for time consuming manual data recording. It enables Plastique to run off reports at any time by shift, day, week, month, job, machine or tool and highlights problem areas that need fast remedial attention.
The reporting mechanism also provides valuable information on efficiency, utilisation, scrap and downtime. “We found the installation of the system surprisingly straightforward and it caused little disruption to our day to day activities” he continues.
“As a result of installing the system, last year we increased our efficiency by 2,000 hours, which in turn has reduced the need for overtime and has allowed us to take on more work in the same time frame.
intouch is such an important and integral part of our operation and makes things so much easier and more manageable it is hard to imagine what it was like before we had it installed.”
Trevor Drew, Operations Manager