Packaging Line Change-over White Paper


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A look at the dyanmics of change-over in today's dynamics on the production line floor. Discover can conveyor add-ons can help and when they can't, and how to make the right decision.

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Packaging Line Change-over White Paper

  1. 1. Packaging Line ChangeoverChangeover:ConveyorTechnology thatCuts Time Roughly defined as the time it takes to adjust or prepare equip-Discover a range of ment to handle a different type of product or packaging, change- over times are a prominent adversary for streamlining consumerconveyor changeover goods manufacturing operations.options with comparisons They are especially prominent when discussing critical produc-of price points and tion themes such as:changeover man hours. • Lean manufacturing • Product expansion • Equipment investments • Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) • Just-In-Time Production Perhaps nowhere as much as consumer goods packaging does time truly translate into money. In a marketplace where margins are tight, competition is fierce and lower cost options are always eagerly embraced by the consumer, a food processor’s ability to shave minutes off production times will immediately correlate to a healthier bottom line. ©Nercon Eng. & Mfg., Inc. 1W W W. N E R C O N . C O M
  2. 2. A summary excerpt from PMMI’s Vision 2015* report, regarding changeover strategy: “Manufacturers should produce machines that feature flexibility. Such flexibility can be achieved through modular designs, simple adjustment, and tool-less and quick changeover processes. Flexibility enables production capacity to be increased or This changeover system, utilizing a ratchet handle and managed effectively in a ‘short- a bolt-on ruler guide, alleviates measuring on manual run’ environment without guide rail adjustments. corresponding increases in operating costs on new machinery purchases.” It’s the conveyor that plays the crucial role of getting product from location A to location B as efficiently as possible. Literally the lifeline of the plant, there are a number of ways that conveyors can aid processors in reducing changeover times, especially in packaging environments. Tool-less Bracket Assemblies This set-point adjustment provides an either / or ad- justment guide rail position. A low-cost entry level solution for changeover com- ponents on conveyor systems is an upgrade to ad- justable brackets. Tool-less brackets can be adjusted quickly and simply by a ratchet or hand knob. Ruler guides can be added to the tool-less bracket assemblies to allow operators to quickly adjust rail openings without having to measure. Another variation of tool – less systems involves the use of set-points. These solutions are the least technical to adjust, but are highly accurate. There are minimal engineering and fabrication costs to designing the set-points, but the benefit is that Another set-point (either/or) example, this Min-Max non-technical personnel can make the adjustment. solution allows adjustment of a zone. *Printed by permission from PMMI (Packaging2 ©Nercon Eng. & Mfg., Inc. Machinery Manufacturers Institute.) Visit www. W W W. N E R C O N . C O M for more information.
  3. 3. Adjustable Zone SystemsThere are nearly as many options in conveyorchangeover solutions as there are product sizes.This category includes manually adjustable solu-tions that use a single location to adjust an entirezone.Hand–wheel adjustment guide rail systems canprovide a single sided guide rail position where theproduct will travel off center. This type of systemcan also be engineered as a dual side adjustmentwhich keeps the product centered during convey- This hinged rail provides off-center product travel andance. flips out of the way when not required.Digital counters can be added to hand wheelsystems to allow for incremental movement of theguide rail for an extremely precise position.The quick set point method can be engineeredfor zone systems as well as single point brackets.An extension of the rail, a spacer or a pin-in-placesystem can be used for a quick set-point zonedsolution.Drop-in rails are another example of a zone solu-tion. Often manufactured from UHMW, these rails This guide rail, made from UHMW especially for theare specifically designed for the exact product and application, drops into place for quick changeover.changeover application. These systems are de-signed for simple placement and are best utilized inturns. Non-technical personnel can easily changethe rails out with no measurement necessary.Flip-in rails also provide zone guide rail adjustment.These rail systems are hinged to provide two guiderail positions. They can be used on both floor levelconveyors and in overhead lines where a hook isused to flip the rails in and out of position. This guide rail system features a hand-wheel and digital counter that provides adjustment of all the lanes from one side of the conveyor system. ©Nercon Eng. & Mfg., Inc. 3 W W W. N E R C O N . C O M
  4. 4. Changeover Comparison of 5 GraduatedBase Line Slotted Brackets with Carriage Bolt - Tools Required 108 Adjustment PointsLevel 1 Upgrade to Ratchet Handles - No Tools Required 108 Adjustment PointsLevel 2 Ratchet Handles with Pre-Set Positions No Tools, No Measuring 108 Adjustment PointsLevel 3 Ratchet Handles with Pre-Set Positions No Tools, No Measuring One Side of the Conveyor 54 Adjustment Points, all on one side of the conveyorLevel 4 Hand Wheel Adjustment Dial Indicator System One Side of the Conveyor 3 Adjustment Points, on one side of the conveyorLevel 5 Fully Automated System Operator Push Button Station 1 Adjustment Point This comparison assumes a 100 ft. straight conveyor section, a occurrences per year. 4 ©Nercon Eng. & Mfg., Inc. W W W. N E R C O N . C O M
  5. 5. Cost Versus Changeover TimeSolutions Upgrade Cost Cost of Man Hours Over 1 Year Baseline: $7,500 No Upgrade Cost Over 10 Years 60 Minutes/Changeover $75,000 Over 1 Year $5,625 $1,000 Over 10 Years 45 Minutes/Changeover $56,250 Over 1 Year $3,750 $2,000 Over 10 Years $37,500 30 Minutes/Changeover Over 1 Year $1,000 $1,875 Over 10 Years $18,750 15 Minutes/Changeover Over 1 Year $625 $22,500 Over 10 Years 5 Minutes/Changeover $6,250 Over 1 Year $125 $27,500 Over 10 Years $1,250 1 Minute/Changeovera $30/hour man hour rate and 250 changeover ©Nercon Eng. & Mfg., Inc. 5 W W W. N E R C O N . C O M
  6. 6. Automatic Guide Rail Solutions Automatic guide rail solutions allow packaging manufacturers to fully realize how innovative automation solutions convert to lower operational costs. Automatic changeover solutions are geared toward technologically savvy production environments that leverage operational complexity for greater changeover efficiency and improving OEE (overall equipment effectiveness) marks. Automatic guide rail systems can be controlled Automatic pneumatic drop- in rail system. by air or electricity. Pneumatic (air operated) rails are suited for high volume production lines. They are often utilized in overhead conveyor systems to reduce manpower and to promote safer changeover methods. Pneumatic systems involve a section of rail lifting and lowering or pushing into position. The cylinders can be set for two positions. If multiple positions are needed for the application, additional cylinders are required. Electric actuated cylinders are also used in automatic guide rail systems. This solution allows for a range of variable product widths. This purchase cost for this system is among the highest in the changeover conveyor solutions, but it is the fastest, most Dual lane system utilizing electric actuated cylinders. versatile and most accurate solution. Both of these automatic rail adjustment systems are highly controlled, utilizing HMI (Human Machine Interface) technologies. The added process control allows hundreds of feet of guide rail adjustment to the desired width in seconds.6 ©Nercon Eng. & Mfg., Inc. W W W. N E R C O N . C O M
  7. 7. Purchase Cost Vs. Labor CostPurchasing ConsiderationsThere are a number of factors that impact linechange-overs that need to be considered duringthe purchasing process. Many of these factorshave an impact on the operational business goalsof the manufacturer. • Purchase cost • Changeover Man Hours • Changeover Occurrence • Product widths • Accessibility • AdaptabilityIt is important to examine the investment and theman hours that the solution will save. Refer to the The cost of labor is greatly reduced when auto-center spread of this publication to compare the mated solutions are used in frequent changeoverpurchase price and changeover man hours in a production environments. These systems providegraduated range of solutions. In a high changeover a fast - track payback in frequent changeover,production environment, it is obvious that auto- high volume packaging facilities.mated solutions solve for high-level business goalssuch as lowering overall operating costs. Thereare, however, many other considerations that lead Lost Production Time Calculationbuying teams to non-automated technologies ora combination of technologies that best fits theirproduction situation. Time per Adjustment XThe number of changeover times has a direct cor-relation to calculating the man hours in a given time Number of Adjustment Pointsframe. A simple calculation of adjustment time Xset points X occurrence will provide the total man Xhours for a specified time frame. An occurrence of250 changeovers per year is not uncommon, and in Number of Changeovers Per Yearthe changeover comparison would save 41 hoursof lost production. Less frequent changeover or theinability to plan for product sizes would more likely =benefit from manual zone solutions. Lost Production Time in One Year ©Nercon Eng. & Mfg., Inc. 7 W W W. N E R C O N . C O M
  8. 8. Purchasing Considerations Continued...Depending on the type of package, a changeoversolution may only require two set points. Someproducts require critical and exact guide railsupport and other products do not require a setguide rail. In a previously mentioned example, tencase sizes were accommodated with two guiderail positions.Accessibility may be a defining factor forselecting changeover options. If access is difficulton one side of a conveyor section, then a dualside guide rail system would be beneficial. Ifchangeover is required in overhead conveying ***lines, automatic systems are the preferred choice Nercon provides specially engineeredWhile tool–less brackets are associated with the changeover solutions to food andhighest adjustment times, they are an extremely consumer goods manufacturers byflexible and adaptable solution. A past survey inFood Manufacturing magazine documented that examining current changeover times62% of private labelers surveyed, handle 10 or and processes, production goals,more unique labels in the course of a month. Aprivate label manufacturer who can’t plan for capabilities of the various packagingdifferent product types or sizes in their pipeline machines on the lines and themight choose tool-less bracket solutions because number of SKUs and package sizesit fits their budget and is very adaptable. that will be run.In a high-volume packaging lines with constantlychanging packages sizes, the electric operatedautomated guide rail solutions allow for the mostguide rail positions that are easily programmedfor future product renditions. For more information on Changeover Conveyor Solutions, sign up for our webinar “Conveyor Technology that Cuts Time” at! Nercon Eng. & Mfg., Inc. 3972 S Hwy. 45 Oshkosh, WI 54902 W W W. N E R C O N . C O M • [920] 233-3268