Reducing changeover times in a web offset packaging environment

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Title: Reducing changeover times in a web offset packaging environment
Author: Nagarajan, Prashanth
Abstract: The printing industry has been experiencing steadily rising costs and declining profits, at times leading to the closing down, consolidation, or restructuring of printing companies. Lean Manufacturing is an effective tool that has helped printing companies to overcome these rising costs by reducing the cost of production and by improving productivity (Cooper, 2007). This research identified methods to reduce setup times, leading to savings of close to $60,000 annually on one press. The average setup time was reduced by 60%, from over two hours to less than one hour. The changes implemented on one press could be standardized on the other two presses in the offset department to provide annual savings of over $200,000. The researcher worked with a packaging company for a period of six months, during which time he worked on improving the changeover time on one of the Stevens web offset presses. The method of study employed was called Action Research, which involved direct interaction with employees of the organization. The researcher used Process Cycle Efficiency (PCE) as a parameter of success, which is measure of the value added time. Small size companies often hesitate to invest in Lean consultants to help reduce costs. This research demonstrates that a Single Minute Exchange of Die (SMED) event can be used successfully in reducing setup times on a Stevens web offset press.
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Date: 2009-05

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