Manufacturing ? continuous process problem resolution

Confectionery – putting sweetness back into the production line 

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THE BUSINESS CHALLENGE 

In today's competitive, high-pressure continuous production line environments diagnosing the cause of intermittent failures can be a major challenge.  Our client, a multinational nutrition company had already spent a considerable sum in trying to resolve a chocolate coated candy bar production line problem.  On occasions candy would stick to the cutting blades; an event that caused significant downtime at four sites worldwide, each producing 2 million candy bars per day. 

AGILE8 APPROACH 

Recognising this was a short, high visibility assignment our AGILE8 consultants worked with the client's operational staff to agree an approach that isolated and then analysed plant data on product, production line and ambient conditions in the period leading up to failure events.  We then used Insight©, our process modelling and knowledge discovery solution to analyse this data and confirm that the failure was due to the same cause on each occasion 

THE SOLUTION           

Using Insight© the joint client and consulting team were able to demonstrate that this intermittent problem was not due to recipe consistency or line speed variation as had originally been believed.  Instead, the cause was a fatal combination of temperature and humidity which caused one of the ingredients to take on adhesive properties. 

THE BENEFITS            

As a result of this assignment, this client’s operational staff members were able to resolve a long-standing intermittent problem that had cost the organisation an estimated US $11 million per annum in downtime.