MRC - Manufacturers Resource Center

 

Novipax

 

Novipax is a Reading-based manufacturer focused on providing fresh food processors, retailers and packaging distributors with innovative products (e.g. standard and active food absorbents and a complete line of polystyrene, barrier and sustainable food trays) that extend shelf life, enhance shelf appeal, reduce shrink, and improve operational efficiencies throughout the supply chain.

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“These efforts align well with our operations and Lean initiatives.  We approach Continuous Improvement from an operations perspective, and we found that TPM helps us develop a deeper bench while simultaneously being an effective part of our larger Lean approach.” … says Novipax Plant Manager, Tom Morse.

Like so many small/medium manufacturers, Novipax relies on cost control to preserve their bottom-line profitability. As a result, they sought to minimize costs through labor and scrap reduction. Another need entailed improving maintenance processes to minimize downtime and create a more consistent internal training regimen to aid their innovative “Trade Helper” program.

 

Solution

Through their involvement with MRC, Novipax sent two groups of employees through Lean Master/Maintenance Master training in hopes of driving a culture of Continuous Improvement. Specific project initiatives included engineering plastic cores to form the center of their foam product rolls, reducing the amount of cracking/breaking (and product loss.) at points of high stress. In another instance, Novipax had been punching a hole in extruded tray products at known intervals of (for example) 100 trays to facilitate product counting. The stamped marks, however, would ruin a given tray, creating scrap. A Novipax engineer who took part in the Lean Master training developed a new way of marking the trays that caused no damage and eliminated the need to discard them afterward.

Novipax has also collaborated with MRC third-party resource John Kravontka to complete three Total Preventive Maintenance (TPM) training sessions. As part of one project, Kravontka helped Novipax to conduct a series of 5S sessions, improve maintenance-related visual aids, and involve operators in basic maintenance. Specifically, they numbered and mapped out several pieces of equipment to make it possible for operators to perform a handful of checks as part of a regular, basic preventive maintenance initiative. TPM training also dovetailed with the Novipax “Trade Helper” program, through which workers from the production area cross train in maintenance in order to build their skills and aid in more effective maintenance.

The upcoming Training Within Industry sessions, meanwhile, are intended to build skills in the maintenance department and create consistency among the staff.

“These efforts align well with our operations and Lean initiatives,” says Novipax Plant Manager, Tom Morse. “We approach Continuous Improvement from an operations perspective, and we found that TPM helps us develop a deeper bench while simultaneously being an effective part of our larger Lean approach.”

Results

  • Novipax believes that MRC Lean Master/Maintenance Master core redesign and punch replacement projects have resulted in 20% and 5% waste reduction, respectively
  • TPM, meanwhile, has reduced downtime by as much as 15% while increasing operator ownership, and improving GMPs and machine cleanliness.
  • Working with MRC has saved Novipax at least $50,000.

To learn more about Novipax, visit their website at http://www.novipax.com/