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  1. Zenith Technologies
31 August 2015

Is it Possible to Significantly Reduce Changeover Time and Decrease Inventory Costs?

‘Just in time manufacturing’ supports the ideology that the end product never sits in a warehouse. Every time a customer order comes in, the line get prepared, the goods are made, packaged and shipped out to the customer that day.

All companies would be following this principle if they could, but most of the time this would mean shorter production runs and increased quantities of changeovers per day.

Zenith understands the challenges customers have reducing changeover times and that they do not want to add to the amount of changeovers they do in a day if they do not have to.

Ways to reduce changeover time

  • Fully monitor the changeover process from start to finish so the company can see patterns emerging and where time savings can be made. It also raises awareness in the workplace of what the company is trying to achieve
  • Start measuring and communicating changeover times to help teams make improvements. The teams on the plant floor often know what changes can be made on their shifts and where bottlenecks are. By increasing communication between shifts, companies can promote best practice and help standardise procedures. By displaying changeover times between shifts, a healthy competitive environment is maintained
  • Setting realistic goals and encouraging feedback decreases changeover times by communicating how this is going to be achieved and motivate teams to achieve this goal
  • Make efficiency changes such as quick changeover parts to make the operators jobs easier. Once changeover losses are identified, complexities can be removed out of the process and shorten long activities. For example, one process involved four screws to be manually undone on every valve. By changing these to quick release catches saves operator time and effort
  • Initiating an ‘after action review team’ ensures a continuous improvement cycle is maintained

If the above is done properly and followed through, changeovers do not have to be difficult for companies.

There is a direct link between inventory reduction and changeover time. By reducing lead time, inventory and increasing responsiveness to customer orders, business improvements can be made.

At Zenith, we ensure that whatever improvements you want to make to changeover times and inventory stock levels, the software is in place to support initiatives, while maintaining compliance requirements, getting software validated and ensuring equipment is fit for purpose.

The life science industry has a strong legacy in data collection and has been embracing Industry 4.0 methodology before the term existed.
The biopharma industry has experienced rapid expansion over the last three decades.
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