Cheese Manufacturing

How a Cheese Manufacturer is Meeting Growing Customer Demand

A cheese manufacturer has engaged with Life Cycle Engineering to apply a time-tested Reliability Excellence® (Rx) approach to meet its objectives: evaluate the current state of reliability and operations, increase asset uptime, increase production, reduce costs, and increase organizational effectiveness. These improvements are needed to meet growing customer demand and ensure the company’s competitive position in the marketplace, while minimizing capital investment.

This manufacturer wanted to address some specific concerns:

  • Opportunities to reduce unplanned downtime and extend asset life
  • Lack of efficiencies in the application of best-practice reliability and work management processes to support increased asset availability and production levels
  • Improve data quality required for proactive asset management
  • Lower unit cost to stay ahead of their competition

LCE’s 3-Wave approach to Reliability Excellence will help this manufacturer address these areas and meet its overall objectives by applying a time-tested approach, processes and tools.

Waves 1 and 2: Building Awareness and Identifying Areas for Improvement

Waves 1 and 2 (Awareness and Assessment) of the 3-wave process have helped the company’s employees develop a future-state vision, while gaining a better understanding of their current state.  Additionally, they are prepared for the implementation of improved asset reliability processes, systems, and technologies to achieve best practices.

Wave 1 consisted of an overview awareness session outlining the assessment process and Rx best practice objectives to a cross-functional group of team members. Wave 1 sessions outline a potential vision for the future and address “what’s in it for me” questions from team members.

In Wave 2, LCE experts led an Rx assessment leveraging LCE’s 29-element Rx Model to evaluate the maturity of reliability processes, people, technologies, and assets and compare them to best practices and/or benchmarks. LCE’s assessment approach analyzes the current state of an operation’s reliability performance, compares it to best practice and benchmarks, and provides the foundational information to develop a gap closure plan/timeline for execution and attaining the desired future state. This cheese company’s assessment included an implementation plan and schedule representing actionable recommendations for gap closure, including identification of early wins. It also identified requirements for education/training along with a set of Key Performance Indicators (KPI) by which to measure improvement progress. To help the company understand the potential impact of improvements, the assessment also included a cost/benefit business case.

Wave 3: Implementing Reliability Excellence to Apply Best Practices

Having executed the Wave 1 and 2 phases of our Rx program, the company is working with LCE’s experts to close the identified gaps and apply Rx best practices to achieve their goals: improved reliability, reduced maintenance costs, increased production capacity, and development of a culture of ownership through an engaged workforce.

Ensuring an efficient implementation with a Global Design Approach and Atlas® 

To ensure a cost-efficient implementation, LCE has delivered an Atlas license providing web-based internet access to LCE’s gold standard work processes and conducted a Global Design Workshop with representatives from multiple functional departments to design and agree on the high-level work stream elements.

The Global Design Workshop accelerates the time for gaining agreement and acceptance of new work processes across multiple departments and operations. The workshop included a multi-day review of business objectives and allowed cross-functional core team members to select and revise the best-practice work processes, procedures, metrics, and step definitions from the Gold Standards, as well as identify roles for the processes. This workshop was designed to provide these benefits:

  • Buy-in for personnel to achieve best-practice work processes
  • Leverage standard work processes across departments and production units
  • Enable better integrated software solutions across the enterprise
  • Achieve faster design of future state with higher probability of success.

Implementing Reliability Excellence Focuses on Four Work Streams

To lead and accomplish the implementation, LCE is providing consultants, asset management specialists and an eAM/CMMS consultant to help the manufacturing organization develop essential reliability processes and lead short-term eAM/CMMS improvements. LCE’s team will also provide asset criticality analyses, conduct asset data collection, support development of key actions identified by the plant manufacturing focus teams, and coach/train key manufacturing personnel using the Atlas product. This support is being provided in four key areas:

  • Leadership and Organizational Change Management
  • Work Management
  • Materials Management
  • Reliability Engineering

To learn more about this company’s progress in implementing Reliability Excellence, please contact us.

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