Cost-Effective OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) Solution Designed for a Packaged Food Snacks Manufacturer

May 25, 2023

Grantek Case Study

Grantek, a leading engineering solutions provider, was approached by a packaged foods snacks manufacturer with two sites in Canada. The client asked Grantek to put together a plan to implement an OEE (overall equipment effectiveness) and quality management system to optimize their manufacturing process at these two plants. The client did not have the internal resources to put together the requirements themselves which was leading to increased costs and decreased productivity. They contacted Grantek to develop the plan so that they could get the system designed and implemented the following year.

Grantek was tasked with conducting onsite investigations and line design development for 10 lines across the two sites and to produce a list of the critical machines on the line, identifying the appropriate count and reject locations on the line, and working with the plant to find the best areas to display and input data via workstations and televisions. A network assessment was also required to get the machines on the network and communicating the desired information.

Grantek considered various solutions to implement the system. There was a lot of legacy and older equipment. The equipment could be upgraded, or additional sensors added to the existing systems, or a different machine could be chosen based on network connectivity. Grantek presented the potential solutions, discussed with the plant, and recommended the most optimal solution given the time and budget for the project.

One challenge was that the 10 lines consisted of 2-3 packaging lines per scope, making it difficult to track down the places the product from the oven could go into the plant. The product often went through further chocolate enrobing or grinding to be sold as a different product somewhere else in the plant, and in some cases, the product was trucked between both plants to finish the product and package. To address this challenge, Grantek worked closely with the plant to build a detailed product flow of the plant that would be beneficial to all parties.

Another challenge was understanding the position and interests of many different departments and personnel in the plant to design a system that would be used and adopted by all parties. There were often conflicting ideas on the placement or function of equipment, and compromises had to be made. Grantek had regular reviews with each team to understand their needs and to ensure that the final design would be functional and efficient.

Grantek’s solution significantly reduced the time required by the client to design and implement the OEE system into their existing manufacturing process. The solution provided designs for the 10 lines. The exercise was successful and is something the client is considering performing at other production sites. Overall, Grantek’s solution provided a cost-effective and efficient solution to the client’s manufacturing challenges.

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