Category: Manufacturing Operational Excellence Blog

IndustryWeek Best Plants Conference 2014 – Intelligent Manufacturing at Hillshire Brands

March 26, 2014

Grantek’s Ian Tooke will be joining Jonathan Riechert from Hillshire Brands at IndustryWeek Best Plants Conference 2014 to present Intelligent Manufacturing at Hillshire Brands, part of the Manufacturing Technologies Strategies track. The session will take place on Wednesday, May 7 from 8:45 am – 9:45 am.In this session, attendees will learn how Riechert and his team met the challenges of a growing, dynamic business by tapping into the real-time, actionable information available in their production operations. In conjunction with Manufacturing IT Solution Provider, Grantek, the company delivered a Manufacturing Intelligence (MI) environment that puts the right information in the right form for the right people at the right time.

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Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) – Traceability

February 10, 2014

What is the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and how will it impact your food manufacturing operations? Traceability / food product tracing is the key. Food manufacturers are watching as the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) evolves to the next level as comprehensive transformation of food safety laws are developing. The focus of the FSMA is to shift food contamination responsibility from response to prevention.

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Global Beverage Manufacturer Partners with Grantek to Upgrade Manufacturing Safety Circuitry to Exceed Manufacturing Safety Standards

December 11, 2013

A global beverage manufacturer planned an upgrade to safety circuits on thousands of assets. The project offered an opportunity to upgrade both machine components as well as components in the panel. Grantek managed the complete project. Continuous improvement in project methodology and execution continues to reduce the per machine cost of the project and has exceeded safety standards in the workplace as well as the client’s expectations.

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10 Common Machine Guarding Mistakes by Manufacturers

December 5, 2013

Our plant safety specialists have developed this list of the 10 most common machine guarding mistakes we have seen implemented by manufacturers. Are any of these mistakes happening in your manufacturing operation?

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Machine Down Time Decreased through Manufacturing Automation for Brita

November 7, 2013

For Brita, keeping assembly machines up and running had become a hands-on, time-consuming task. The reliability of equipment on the assembly line had been an ongoing concern. Machine down time was common and troubleshooting inefficient. The current software wasn’t operator-friendly. Grantek was engaged to upgrade the controls on five of the plant’s filter assembly machines to improve reliability, reprogramming the controls in a format that conformed to the corporate template. At the completion of the project, the client had a machine with full documentation that operators could actually use, machine downtime was greatly reduced, and the plant was able to increase production capacity by at least 30%.

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Integrating Safety into Automation: Implications and Considerations for Senior Management

October 16, 2013

As business leaders in the manufacturing industry, you are compelled to continually find ways to increase throughput, increase efficiency, and lower manufacturing costs. However, at the opposite end of the spectrum, you are also tasked with increasing employee safety and reducing incident rates.This can be a challenging balancing act for most companies, especially if safety and production are in a constant battle with each other.

Luckily, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Major advancements in both safety and automation in the past few years have made monumental leaps in bridging the gap between these two very different business drivers, ultimately leading to both increased safety and productivity.

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Integrating Safety into Automation: Implications and Considerations for Safety Engineers

October 16, 2013

Designing a safe machine for a manufacturing operation is easy – right? As engineers put on their thinking caps and start designing safeguarding schemes with these new technologies, remember to proceed with caution. The last thing any company wants to do is make a machine seemly “look safe” when it is actually quite dangerous. As exciting as these new machine safety technologies are, make sure your company has a full understanding of their proper use and associated design requirements. Find out about new safety technologies and standards now.

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Understanding & Managing Manufacturing Electrical Energy Consumption

August 2, 2013

What power consumption data do you need – and where is it?

The reasons for wanting to understand electrical consumption and costs are fairly common amongst manufacturers (e.g. allocating actual electrical costs to output by SKU, managing peak demand charges, etc.). But most manufacturers quickly discover that their plants do not have the technology in place to capture all of the required power consumption data to support a manufacturing information system that will provide them with reports containing the granularity that allows them to make meaningful decisions in a timely manner.

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Costs of Not Implementing Machine Guarding Best Practices

July 9, 2013

Hefty OSHA penalties for machine guarding violations are normally the impetus behind employers making necessary changes to the appropriate safeguarding measures. Unfortunately, the most common way to learn about the importance of safeguarding is as a result of an injury occurrence. Even though OSHA penalties can be easily quantifiable, accidents can have many not-so-obvious direct and indirect costs.

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How do I automate manufacturing data retrieval and reporting for Cost per Unit (CPU)?

June 5, 2013

Manufacturers are constantly faced with the need to maximize profitability while contending with variable manufacturing costs. One of the key measures involved is Cost per Unit (CPU) produced. The CPU is affected by inputs like raw material costs, energy costs, labor costs, inventory costs, and shipping costs. Traditionally, CPU calculations would have been done monthly

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