During a colour change at the production
line, a transition from dark to bright colour used to take about 80% more than
a reverse transition, from bright to dark. Additionally, an off spec product
was a result, thus subject to recycling as a waste product.
The production process as well as raw
materials, equipment and technologies being used were all analysed. A source of
this problem was determined as one of the equipment’s component, a worn end
nozzle where a dark polymer mixture has deposited. Due to the fact the company
could not afford a new nozzle, as we initially suggested, we developed an
alternative method for such colour change.
The transit time between colour changes in manufactured products was reduced by 50%
The off spec product ratio, being a waste product, was reduced
The company managed to generate savings (waste reduction) and to increase production efficiency (shorter transit time between production charges); the process was used for 18 month after this project, and it has been since used on an ad hoc basis for acceleration of colour change during production