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Case Studies

Manufacturing Improvement Case Studies


Pick and Place – 16% Line Speed Improvement

Two packing lines were suffering from lost output, high rework and high waste at its assembly stations. The operators and maintenance team had tried to resolve the problem for 2 years with little success and had resorted to slowing the line down.

Find out how, with our help, an experienced operator and an experienced technician used our PCS tool to speed the lines up to exceed their 120 units per minute rate – and protect the company’s margins.

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Checkweigh – Significant Waste Reduction

FMCG Operators Box Clever to protect line speed increases

A production team observed that a ‘checkweigh issue’ was resulting in correct weight product being rejected alongside underweight product – and increases in line speed exaggerated the problem.

Find out how, with our help, the Operators used our PCS tool to determine the real root cause and is now boxing clever and faster than ever before to protect the company’s margins.

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Employee Engagement – 50% improved output

The Lauras team supported the Bars business unit at Weetabix in achieving tremendous improvement through strong employee engagement. The implementation included training and coaching of operators, technicians and front line managers, coupled with a series of impact workshops that had multiple streams of activity.

Results included; improved output by over 50%, reduced waste by 80%, improved product quality and reduced energy usage.

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OEE Measurement – Continuous Improvement


Lauras International assessed the size of opportunity available through a detailed assessment of manufacturing processes at a well performing Largo Foods site in Gweedore. Lauras then trained site staff in OEE and how to drive a continuous improvement agenda (with the aid of an OEE Management System) to gain significant savings in just six months by correctly identifying and applying a range of lean based tools to optimise resources for every line.

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Faster Changeovers – 25% OEE Improvement

The Seven Seas plant in Hull provides capsules, tablets & liquids to markets across the globe, but it was recognised that efficiencies were low and stocks of finished products were high. Lauras International undertook a detailed assessment of the plant and the planning processes and recommended workshops to address problems which were limiting output and yield – resulting in operational savings of around £1m per annum and stock reductions of over £2m.
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Waste Reduction – £200k Reduction in Material Costs

Lauras International was asked by a major manufacturer of leading brand and own-brand cakes to train and coach the site team in their largest factory. Although the line was very efficient, waste was inherently high as a result of the need to trim the top crust off the sponge. This top crust waste was by far the biggest source of waste in the plant, amounting to over 10 tonnes of waste per week. The improvement results were impressive – including a £200,000 pa reduction in material costs and a 70% reduction in make up waste.

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Line Controls – Reduced Operating Costs

potato-packingThe Co-operative was looking for ways to reduce their operating costs and improve employee engagement in one swoop. Lauras proposed a series of breakthrough improvement workshops at both sites to get a range of staff trained and using the improvement tools – achieving line speed increases of at least 10%. Three workshops were held at each site during which the teams looked at a range of line issues from improving the line controls to minimise unnecessary downtime through to reducing the cycle time on film and product changeovers.

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Fresh Produce Packaging – Reduced Downtime

A manufacturing and packing arm of a large UK retailer invited Lauras International to run a two-week workshop with the aim of considerably reducing the amount of downtime associated with routine product changeovers, resulting in a site saving of £69,000. Additionally it was determined that a further £160,0000 of savings could be achievable if the programme were to be rolled out across the other four sites in the group.

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Distribution Centre – Right First Time, On Time

lauras-case-distributionLauras International was asked to coach the site team of a major manufacturer of bakery products to reduce post POD errors and deliver substantial efficiency and service improvements to the operation. The POD Error rate was reduced by 60%. From a total opportunity of £1.6m RSV an additional £960,000 of product was delivered right first time on time and a further £87,000 was saved as a result of the reduction in ‘Overs’.

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Capacity – Output Improvement

lauras-home-focusWhitby Seafoods was struggling for capacity to meet the projected sales growth and needed Lauras International to help the company overcome issues with production planning and raw material yields. With Lauras’ help, the Factory output has improved from around 600kg per hour to an average of over 750kg per hour and, with improved planning, periods of 900kg per hour have been achieved.

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Producing More – In Same Time

A well known branded traditional bakery embarked on a site improvement programme and asked Lauras International to help reduce waste on plant and improve OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness). Along with encouraging significant cultural changes, Lauras International helped the Branded Bakery achieve an extra 23,000 units per day from the plant which equated to an extra 2,800 packets per day of revenue from the area.

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Short Stops –  38% OEE Improvement

A multinational pharmaceutical and OTC medicine business invited Lauras International to work with the company’s Oral Care product site and assess the opportunity for increasing the OEE of the packing lines to 70%. Although the throughput bottleneck at the time of the assessment was the high speed packing lines, once an OEE of 60% had been reached for these the bottleneck would then become the product manufacturing area.
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Throughput –  Annual Labour and Material Savings

A multinational confectionery company manufactures a leading brand of hard candy worked with Lauras International to increase throughput on 4 bagging lines – resulting in additional capacity of 270,000 cases pa, a labour benefit of $808,000 pa, and a material saving benefit of $108,000 pa. The site had recently installed four bagging lines that had been shipped from another site and reassembled on site by the machinery manufacturer. Each line consisted of a bagging machine, display packing machine and a case packer.

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Multisite – Group Wide Improvement

FM-eshotLauras International coordinated an approach for a pharmaceutical and household goods manufacturer throughout East Asia over a 4 year period to ensure all plants continued to use the improvement approach to deliver significant value in a low cost region. Minimum improvement in True Efficiency on any one of the 53 production lines was 10% and as high as 117% on baseline.

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Embedding a Sustainable Improvement Model

lauras-resources-tipsLauras International worked with a confectionery manufacturer to reduce controllable costs by 28% in less than 18 months by implementing a sustainable improvement programme. The initial audit clearly indicated a willingness to embark on a programme but a lack of sustainability at all levels – so Lauras trained the team to implement relevant processes to drive improvements in cost using a Sustainable Improvement Model (SIM).

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We have known about that problem for ages, why did we wait until now to sort it out?


The focussed homework, linking the learning to ongoing behaviour and leadership habits, was particularly useful. Excellent 5* training.

Front Line Manager – FLM Training