Study the ‘Game Tape’ to Improve Productivity and Consistency
According to Craig Compton, VP, L3, Paper Converting Machine Co. (PCMC), there's a saying in the industry that "you're comfortably numb to your processes." Without establishing a formal production process, he explains that significant variations can occur from shift to shift. One way that Compton says package printers can develop a standard process for their business is through embracing concepts of "Kaizen" or continuous improvement. In a recent webinar, Compton walked attendees through PCMC's Grow More Program, which helps package printers adopt continuous improvement strategies, and even includes filming current production processes and reviewing the tape to make improvements.
One of Compton's observations in his experience with the program is the lack of time spent "practicing" in the printing industry. For example, he said, in sports, athletes practice 90% of the time and play only about 10% of the time. However, in printing, operators play 90% of the time and practice only 10% of the time. He suggested the importance of closing that gap and encouraged attendees to make sure operators are given the opportunity to spend more time "practicing" or studying processes and tweaking them so they're more efficient.
Some other points Compton has observed through the Grow More Program are:
- In many cases, it's the first time operators feel their voices are heard;
- There is a lack of communication before, during and after a changeover;
- Color matching at the press is a challenge and can take up a large portion of time during the changeover process.
Brent Zurcher, product engineer at MicroDynamics LLC, followed Compton's presentation with a discussion on color matching and the importance of anilox roll monitoring and maintenance.
Zurcher outlined the various ways anilox roll volume is assessed as well as what inspection devices and techniques can be used in an assessment process. Zurcher also echoed Compton's point that there needs to be a standard process in place for assessing, cleaning and tracking anilox inventory to ensure efficiency and color matching.
To learn more about lean manufacturing, the Kaizen Process and the process of anilox monitoring and maintenance, listen to the full webinar. Or explore some of packagePRINTING's other educational webinars in our archive!