The existing factory had 3 lines with 12 manual operatives carrying out laning duties. The project objectives are to reduce the operatives to 2 and to ensure perfect product delivery to the boxing system.
A hydraulic driven laning system for aligning fish fingers that was so antiquated and inefficient that it required 12 operatives just to keep the system primed. Manual interventions meant that labour costs were high, as a result of manual handling the product was damaged, the coating lost and the quality therefore compromised.
Utilising the exact footprint of the existing line we introduced a highly efficient laning system which addressed the issues of:
- Reduction in overfeeding
- Removal of double stacked product to ensure incorrectly formed products were removed
- Fines and particles were eradicated from the product flow to enable operatives to add value by focusing on quality control and inspection.
The nature of the continuous production process meant that on occasions there was the potential for a bottleneck in the packing operation which would result in product rejection used for animal feed. Our solution was to introduce an emergency by-pass mechanism to cold store the excess product, which could be metered back into production flow to ensure no flood feeding or overfilling of conveyors.
Factory efficiency with this new system increased from 52% to 94%. We have proposed additional solutions which could further benefit the company and would be likely to increase production efficiency even further if equipment up and down steam was replaced.
Spillage was reduced to near zero and return on investment was 26 weeks.
Full operation flexibility was achieved, keeping efficiencies of manufacture, frying and freezing at maximum capacity.