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Packaging Industry faces some uphill task when it comes to automating their manufacturing processes as there are not many software vendors who service this industry. It is especially true for planning & scheduling operations for this industry. This industry is growing at a high rate and yet there are not many software vendors who can satisfactorily fulfill the planning and scheduling needs of this industry.

The planning and scheduling needs of this industry are very different compared to those in other industries. For example, a typical order may consist of product name, weight, material grade, width, surface treatment, length, roll inner core diameter, roll outer diameter etc. From this order information, number of rolls for each order is calculated. Experiencing trim losses, product attributes with a lot of variation etc. are common and these needs are to be addressed.

Process Challenges

Some of the process challenges include:

  • Huge number of Variant Product attributes
    Whereas the total number of products may be small, the variation in product attributes leads to the need of maintaining huge data.
  • Trim Losses
    Generally orders are produced by cutting from jumbo rolls. Due to this a lot of material wastage occurs in form of trim loss. The more number of trim machines on the processing line, the more trim waste will be produced. By way of trim losses, businesses loose a lot of money.
  • Inner cylinder change
    In many cases an inner core is used on which the product is rolled. For different orders, diameter of this inner core may be different. So each time a different inner core with different diameter is required, the inner cylinder setup has to be changed. This leads to a lot of time getting wasted.
  • Machine setup for different width product
    If machine is set for different width each time a order is processed, then a lot of time may go waste as machine setup time
  • Changes in Orders
    Many times one order consists of many lines as many products can be ordered in the same order. Whenever there is change in order, there is a chance of error as to whether a new line is to be added with that order or an existing line to be updated.
  • Container Stuffing
    It is difficult to find out whether the complete order will fit inside a container or not at the time of taking an order. Sometimes a very small quantity is left after a container is full. This creates a lot of headache for the sales department.

Solution

The challenges mentioned above, pose a difficult proposition. Nevertheless, these challenges can be tackled.

  • Infinite number of Variant Product attributes for each product
    When defining products in the software, a facility can be provided where infinite number of product attributes can be defined for each product.
  • Trim Optimization
    Trim loss can be minimized by combining orders where the sum of widths in the orders closely matches the width of the jumbo roll or the slab. By optimizing trim losses, businesses can save a lot of money.
  • Sequencing Orders
    To overcome Production Line Routing delays orders can be sequenced so that change over of machines can be minimized. The same technique is applied in other cases of change over like inner cylinder change over.
  • Multiple Output Planning
    From cutting the same stock of rolls or slabs, many orders can be fulfilled from the same stock. This will save both trim loss as well as machine set up time.
  • Pegging
    It takes into consideration multiple sales orders and keeps the information about the original order through all production levels. This technique enables to process multiple orders at the same time and yet keep information about products, work in process and orders all the time.
  • Changes in Orders
    Whenever there are changes in orders, either new lines are to be created if there is some addition in order or existing lines to be updated depending on situation.
  • Container Stuffing
    At the time of order taking, the sales person will be able to know whether the whole order can fit inside a container or not for shipping. Depending on this information, a customer can change the amount in his order so that the order can fit after request from the sales person.

Optimization Engine to your rescue

Optimization Engine for packaging industry fromTM GoldenEmbryo Technology is a readymade tool for the packaging industry’s needs of production planning, scheduling & optimization. It can not only help you achieve the goals mentioned above, it will help you to reduce your manufacturing lead times substantially. Using Optimization EngineTM you can do scenario analysis, profitability analysis, product mix analysis, achieve capable to promise functionality and many more benefits.