Makeready reduction in a platen die cutting operation: an analysis of process improvement methodologies

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Title: Makeready reduction in a platen die cutting operation: an analysis of process improvement methodologies
Author: Armendariz, Charles
Abstract: The research focused on determining whether specific process improvement methodologies performed in a Kaizen event could reduce the overall makeready process in a platen die cutting operation. Data was collected and analyzed in order to identify opportunities that would reduce the effort (procedure steps and time) within the makeready procedure. Analysis was conducted on the makeready procedure at a packaging company in Rochester, New York. The researcher worked with the Center for Excellence in Lean Enterprise (CELE) at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in conducting the Kaizen event. An initial analysis with the use of a 5S audit and Individual X-Chart was conducted in order to qualify the types of process improvements that would later be implemented during the Kaizen event. Video recording and spaghetti-mapping diagrams were prepared during the makeready analysis. The information from these two process improvement analysis techniques revealed procedure improvements that were captured during the research. This research revealed opportunities for a Bobst SP-102E platen die cutting machine makeready process by removing the excessive motion to develop a more effective makeready process. With the use of process improvement methodologies in the print manufacturing environment, company leaders can utilize the research methodology as a guideline to reduce an operation's makeready time, and thereby reduce costs of manufacturing by eliminating waste in the operation. The operator performed the makeready in 86 steps in 1 hour 18 minutes which was the existing makeready condition for the platen die cutting operation. The goal for the research was to identify if specific process improvements would improve the current makeready process as mentioned. Significant reductions to the makeready procedure were identified during post analysis: steps were reduced by 29% from 86 to 61 and the time was reduced by 40% from 1 hour 18 minutes to 40 minutes. Factors such as declining run lengths, increasing competition from other media, and off shoring are threatening U.S. print manufacturers and forcing companies to locate areas to reduce costs in order to maintain clients. This research was an important aspect that contributes to the efforts to reduce cost in print manufacturing by analyzing the effects of process improvement methodologies for a platen die cutting operation.
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Date: 2009

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