A global manufacturer of pharmaceutical products was experiencing frequent packaging–line stoppages of a common over-the-counter cough syrup. Production costs had risen to erode margins on this product.
Flow consultants collected data in which line stoppages were recorded for cause, location and duration. A kaizen team was assembled whose goal was to increase overall line–throughput from 23,000 bottles per shift to 35,000 bottles per shift. The kaizen team performed a combination of root–cause analysis, SMED, and Standardized Work Techniques to improve line performance.
During the three–day kaizen, several changes to the line equipment were implemented to overcome the root causes of several key problems. Line output increased to approximately 30,000 bottles per shift immediately. After two months of operation and incorporation of remaining changes proposed by the kaizen team, line output has risen to a stable output of 51,000 bottles per shift. The cost of implemented changes was less than $5,000.