A consumer products manufacturer needed to relocate a line from a contract manufacturing facility to its home facility and increase line efficiency
Client: Fortune 500 Company
Industry: Consumer Products
Key Engineering Features:
- Packaging line relocation and upgrade
- Controls and automation optimization to reduce errors and required labor
- Infra-red sealing and x-ray level checking technologies
- Hot fill product
- Moved line from another company’s facilities
- Cost to produce product needed to be kept low
- Production level needed to increase while labor levels decreased
- Complicated multi-part casing assembly
An EPIC Solution:
EPIC completed preliminary design to assure the most efficient process and accurate cost quotation. After reviewing the objectives and challenges with the client, EPIC’s engineers completed an analysis of the line and created an implementation plan that included the following elements:
- Complete line layout, integration, and relocation strategy
- Re-programming of the entire line to achieve production rate goals and reduced labor
- Integration of new x-ray application to check the fill levels of products and reduce customer complaints
EPIC Systems recommended an efficient option for advanced line automation.
EPIC’s Proven Solution
EPIC worked with the consumer products company to move the entire line over from the contract manufacturing facility and integrate the new x-ray machine into the plant. This included plant construction management and controls integration.
Individual plastic pieces that form the casing for the product start in separate un-scramblers at the beginning of the line. A plastic cone, a rounded bottom cup and cylindrical center are oriented and assembled before entering the filler. A hot-fill liquid product that will solidify into a gel is dispensed into each casing. The product leaves the filler and is capped. Cones continue down the line to an x-ray machine that checks the fill level of individual cones and removes under or over-filled products from the line.
A sleeve labeler places a plastic label loosely over each cone shaped assembled product. The labeler squares the label up before the cones enter an infra-red tunnel, which shrinks the plastic label snugly onto the product. The product is wrapped in a card board sleeve which fastens with a tab at the bottom of the product. The cardboard sleeves are pre-date coded.
From the cardboard sleever products are sorted into lanes and stop at a clam-shell before being dropped into pre-formed cases. The cases are sealed, date coded and palletized for shipment.
- Cost was significantly reduced by moving operation in-house and reducing labor
- Optimization of automation dramatically reduced labor requirements and line down time
- Line production was increased from 8 pallets/day to 100 pallets/day
The EPIC Difference
EPIC provided expert insight into how to efficiently relocate and upgrade the packaging line. Because of EPIC’s experience in the field, EPIC was able to prevent problems before they arose.
The EPIC Difference includes several key features that assure a projects success:
- Front-End Engineering to ensure that the proper steps are taken during project scope development
- Plant engineering experience that assists clients to identify needs, pinpoint objectives and provide the most appropriate manufacturing equipment for the application
- Open door client policy to promote innovation. We invite clients to visit EPIC to experiment with new processes, technologies and techniques that push the limits of traditional engineering.
- Accountability to responsibly manage our clients’ projects from start-to-finish and beyond.
- A transfer of knowledge (not just a basic training) for the systems and equipment we provide
- Single point of direct contact during the entirety of the project
- State-of-the-art shop which decreases down-time and increases the speed of project completion