Achieving Maximum Productivity Through Efficiency
How to Reduce and Mitigate Operational Downtime
By Evan Jones, commercial director at JBT’s Proseal America
In an ever-changing industry landscape, the focus is often diverted to supply chain delays, economic uncertainty, labor shortages, budding consumer trends and many other different directions. However, production line efficiency remains top of mind for packaging experts at every level. In fact, PMMI shares in their 2023 Sustainability and Technology – The Future of Packaging and Processing report that 61% of top-level executives list productivity as their top priority for their operations.
Finding ways to reduce and mitigate operational downtime while aiming to meet new demand and innovation may seem counterintuitive, but by increasing operational efficiency, teams can become more agile and adept at finding solutions that meet the specific requirements of customers and deliver enhanced quality and efficiency throughout production and packing operations.
Assistance from the algorithm
The first place to start identifying areas to improve operational efficiency is with the packaging machinery being used every day. Production equipment must meet electrical, mechanical and systems compliance at all levels. Working with vendors to tailor the machines on your floor to be equipped with intuitive operation and performance monitoring can mitigate or quickly address potential issues, minimizing downtime and maximizing productivity. This will not only increase efficiency but save on costs.
Due to advancements in automation and machine learning algorithms, some sensors can collect data on temperature, vibration, pressure and other essential metrics. Over time, operators will be able to increase the output of machinery without overloading or quality loss. Long term, the data can show that operators are being alerted to potential issues before they take place, avoiding the headache of line downtime at the push of a button.
By optimizing production speeds and simplifying processes for the operator to meet your needs with innovative and advanced software, packing lines can continue to operate at maximum efficiency for longer periods than ever before.
The people behind the product
While increasing a machine’s processing efficiency is a priority, that should come in tandem with its ease of use. Specifically, capabilities in the design, manufacturing and installation shouldn’t only improve output but also further its health and safety management. This ensures that not only the machinery, but the people working with it can continue to operate at maximum efficiency. Having a dialogue with your vendor ensures that the production machines are providing customized solutions to meet the individual requirements and operate as intended. This will create a positive safety culture throughout the company, where health and safety are viewed as the top priority.
Unfortunately, no matter how much preparation and mitigation takes place with preventative maintenance, issues will still arise with the equipment. It is essential to support a team with comprehensive support services that provide a fast response whenever needed.
As more local, national and global legislation and regulations continue to pass regarding business sustainability practices, it is imperative now more than ever for industry experts to operate in a way that is cost-effective and delivers exceptional performance within a compact footprint. This can include examining the environmental impacts of the machinery, products, and supply chain that companies are using every day. Energy-smart solutions drive emissions reductions and reduce operational costs.
While internal eco-friendly initiatives are important to achieving sustainability standards, a sustainable approach should focus on operational excellence and meeting or exceeding expectations. This is another key conversation with the vendor where collaboration with suppliers can lead to solutions that fit existing designs and include energy usage of production equipment and total cost of ownership for you as a customer, as well as the longer shelf life of products. By working with vendors providing safe and waste-smart packaging solutions that respond to your requirements, the sustainable approach can focus on both sustainable operational excellence and meeting or exceeding your clients’ expectations.
Another way to minimize environmental and financial impact is to have equipment that can integrate with legacy systems. Working with machines that already have a long lifespan, materials can be recovered, equipment that can continue to be used, and what cannot be used can be recycled whenever applicable. Ultimately, energy-efficient and robust design, a sustainable supply chain and thorough communication with your vendor about your needs can allow the circular economy to grow in strength.
As a result, companies will be better equipped to face evolving challenges and contribute to a more environmentally responsible and economically practical future for themselves, consumers and the industry as a whole. Ultimately, industry experts working collaboratively with their partners and vendors can navigate the ever-changing landscape by upholding operational efficiency, prioritizing safety, and embracing sustainable practices. PTT
About the Author
With an extensive background spanning more than a decade in the food industry, Evan Jones is a seasoned professional specializing in food packaging and tray sealing. Currently serving as the Commercial Director at JBT Proseal, Evan is dedicated to enhancing customer experience through innovative solutions where his expertise and strategic approach have significantly contributed to business growth and sustained success. Evan is recognized for his deep understanding of market dynamics and his commitment to creating personalized, customer-focused solutions. His dedication to excellence and client satisfaction continues to influence the tray sealing industry, driving innovation and setting new standards. For more information, visit www.jbtc.com.