Seasoning Batch Setup Operation Improvement
This food seasoning client retained CRB to conduct an operational improvement study to develop the backup data and calculations required to demonstrate time reduction and return on investment value for proposed revisions to their batch ingredient setup operation.
The objective of this study was to identify opportunities for improvement during the batch ingredient setup operation to determine how many batches could be reduced with a higher blending capacity.
We selected a team of setup operators for an on-site evaluation and we shadowed these employees, studying their activities from the start of their shift. We mapped their movements for the batch ingredient setup operation and identified non-value-added activities. These activities were namely excessive motion/transportation, so our team recorded the distances and frequencies of movement during the operation for full batches and partial batches and tracked their time down to the second. With this data, we created spaghetti maps to illustrate the actual flow of the process in terms of time and distance.
The spaghetti maps revealed that the operator weighing partial batches traveled 2.2 miles per day, which translated to about 1.1/hours per day in time. The operator gathering materials for full batches traveled 8 miles per day, which translated to about 1.6 hours per day in time. This was non-value-added time.
Several improvement opportunities could reduce these non-value-added activities and time. These improvement opportunities cumulatively had the potential to reduce the non-value-added activity time by 1.6 hours/day, a reduction of 20 percent. Further analysis showed approximately 0.9 hours saved for the full batch and 0.7 hours for the partial batch. The largest perceived opportunity was to change the blend batch size and campaign length.