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Manufacturing Technology Academy

Location: 2600 Aero Park Dr.


Mailing address: 880 Parsons Road
Traverse City, MI 49686
Phone: (231)995-1304 Fax: (231)995-2204
Website: www.mta.tc

January 18, 2017

Brett Milliman
Plascon Group
2375 Traversefield Dr.
Traverse City, MI 49686

Dear Mr. Milliman:

On behalf of our team at the Manufacturing Technology Academy, we would like to thank Plascon for
giving us the opportunity to practice our problem solving skills at your company for a few days. We
would also like to thank the staff for showing us around and taking time to answer our questions.

We have attached our technical report including our recommendations for reducing Gnter setup time.
This report is based off our presentation we gave at the company, and goes into more detail on specific
steps we took to find our recommendations.

Once again, we would like to thank Plascon for letting us practice our problem solving skills in a real
life situation at your company.

Sincerely,

Joey Weber Jay Marchant Ryan Sass

Alex Thayer Joshua Nye Taylor Hines

MTA is a partnership among TBAISD Career-Tech Center and area manufacturers. It is housed in Northwestern Michigan Colleges Parsons-Stulen building.
Recommendations for Gnter Setup Improvements at Plascon
January 18, 2017

Presented to:
Brett Milliman of Plascon Group

Plascon Group
Address: 2375 Traversefield Dr
Traverse City, MI 49686
Phone: (231) 935-1580

Presenters:
Alex Thayer Joshua Nye Joey Weber
Jay Marchant Taylor Hines Ryan Sass

Manufacturing Technology Academy


Address: 880 Parsons Road
Traverse City, MI 49686
Mailing Address: 880 Parsons Road
Traverse City, MI 49686
Phone:(231) 995-1304
Executive Summary
A problem-solving team was sent from the Manufacturing Technology Academy (MTA)
in Traverse City. The team was trained by Dawn Baeckeroot from Anchor Lamina on the Plan,
Do, Study, Act (PDSA) Cycle, and was then briefed by Brett Milliman (COO of Plascon) on the
problem they would be solving in the company. Then at Plascon, the team practiced the PDSA
skills they had learned during Teams Training at MTA in order to solve the problem given to
them.
The problem given to the team involved the Gnter, the machine used to create large bags
from plastic film. The setup of the Gnter took 4-8 hours, causing a reduction in the machines
productivity as well as reducing the amount of orders Plascon could take in. This resulted in
lower profit for Plascon than what the Gnter was capable of providing.
When the team arrived at Plascon, they were given a tour of the company and watched
the Gnters setup take place. The team then studied the information they gathered, and
compiled it into many charts and tools, which helped to develop solutions for the given problem.
After compiling many charts and analyzing data, the team was able to hone in on several
specific items that they felt were most important. From this data, the team compiled the List of
Recommendations.
Listed below are the final recommendations that the team presented to the Plascon
employees at the end of their time at the company.

Replace aluminum and Teflon tape with pre-made reusable aluminum pieces which
easily slide to appropriate lengths over the seal head.

Replace the carbon fiber separator plates so additional time is not required to
troubleshoot bad seals.

Stagger breaks so there is no down-time on the Gnter set-up.

Purchase additional knives and knife holders and set them up ahead of time.

Repair the spout width of the machine by fixing the automatic adjustment that does not
currently work due to sub-component failure.

Keep a detailed log of measurements and other settings/parameters used on each order so
the machine can be set up faster and can be set up ahead of time.

The team believes that due to these recommendations the Gnters setup time will be
reduced to a much more manageable and realistic time frame. The potential time saved can be
found on the List of Recommendations that the team was able to provide after they received the
Initial Problem Statement.
Table of Contents
Stage 1 Plan .....................................................................................................................1
Define the Problem/State the Problem .......................................................................1
Code of Cooperation ................................................................................................1
Initial Problem Statement ........................................................................................2
Parking Lot...............................................................................................................3
Systems Analysis of Plascon ...................................................................................4
Systems Analysis of Gnter .....................................................................................5
Operational Definitions for Plascon.........................................................................6
Affinity Diagram of Questions ................................................................................7
Imagineering What Plascon Wants ..........................................................................8
Study the Current Situation ........................................................................................9
Lotus Diagram of Gnter Setup Process ..................................................................9
Flowchart of Gnter Setup .....................................................................................10
Pie Chart of Gnter Setup ......................................................................................11
Column Chart of Gnter Setup ..............................................................................12
Define (And Restate / Revise) the Problem..............................................................13
Revised Problem Statement ...................................................................................13
Analyze the Causes ....................................................................................................14
Fishbone Diagram of Gnter Setup .......................................................................14
List of Potential Causes for Gnter Setup (Brainstorm) ........................................15
Interrelationship Diagram of Gnter Setup............................................................16
Matrix for Potential Improvement of Gnter Setup ...............................................18
Stage 2 Do ......................................................................................................................19
Select and Develop a Theory for Improvement ......................................................19
List of Recommendations ......................................................................................19
If Then Chart of Possible Solutions ...................................................................20
Bone Diagram of Ideal Gnter Setup.....................................................................21
Conclusion ........................................................................................................................22
Works Cited and/or Bibliography ..................................................................................23
Appendices ........................................................................................................................24
List of Figures
Code of Cooperation ............................................................................................................1
Initial Problem Statement ....................................................................................................2
Parking Lot...........................................................................................................................3
Systems Analysis of Plascon ...............................................................................................4
Systems Analysis of Gnter .................................................................................................5
Operational Definitions for Plascon.....................................................................................6
Affinity Diagram of Questions ............................................................................................7
Imagineering What Plascon Wants ......................................................................................8
Lotus Diagram of Gnter Setup Process ..............................................................................9
Flowchart of Gnter Setup .................................................................................................10
Pie Chart of Gnter Setup ..................................................................................................11
Column Chart of Gnter Setup ..........................................................................................12
Revised Problem Statement ...............................................................................................13
Fishbone Diagram of Gnter Setup ...................................................................................14
List of Potential Causes for Gnter Setup (Brainstorm) ....................................................15
Interrelationship Diagram of Gnter Setup........................................................................16
Matrix for Potential Improvement of Gnter Setup ...........................................................18
List of Recommendations ..................................................................................................19
If Then Chart of Possible Solutions ...............................................................................20
Bone Diagram of Ideal Gnter Setup.................................................................................21
1

Stage 1 Plan
Introduction
Prior to coming to Plascon, the team had two days of Teams Training at the
Manufacturing Technology Academy (MTA). During Teams Training, the team was taught the
Plan, Do, Study, Act, or PDSA, problem solving cycle. The team was given a simulated problem
and a Tool Time for Education, a book filled with tools the team would use throughout Teams
Training, in order to learn the PDSA cycle. The team was then able to apply what they had
learned in a real-world problem at Plascon. The Code of Cooperation, below, was created during
Teams Training and later used at the company.
The Code of Cooperation is a list of responsibilities and guidelines for what each team
member must do for the team to be successful. When the team got to the company, it was the
first tool they put up.

Code of Cooperation
Listen to other peoples ideas

Be open minded

Show up on time

Good attitude

Help each other out

High quality work

Be respectful

Stay on topic

Divide the work evenly

The Code of Cooperation helped the team focus in on how to be a good team member
and what each individual needed to do for the team to be successful as a whole.
2

Purpose
At the end of Teams Training, the team met Brett Milliman and was provided with the
initial problem for what Plascon wanted to improve. The Initial Problem Statement is a tool used
to explain what is currently happening versus what is desired in the company. This tool is
composed of a chart divided into three different sections; the first section explains the problem or
situation that is currently occurring. The second section explains how this problem impacts the
situation. The last section shows the desired state the company would like to achieve. The team
was provided with the Employer Sponsor Worksheet (See Appendix) by Brett Milliman and
copied it verbatim in the chart below.

Initial Problem Statement

Current: Current changeover can take 4+ hours.

Impact: The faster we can changeover, the faster we can get customer
orders produced, thus efficiency improvements to be had.

Desired: Reduce changeover by at least 50%, ideally 75%.

The Initial Problem Statement tool was a way to document the problem in a clear way
that could be posted for everyone to see. It also led to several questions that should be asked in
order to learn more.

Define the Problem & State Your Goal


After the team took a tour of the entire facility, they were taken to the Gnter to watch
setup for the remainder of the day. Each person took notes and documented information. While
3

watching the setup, the team asked if they had any work instructions on the Gunter machine and
were given a copy that the team could follow along to (See Appendix). Once this was received,
notes were taken directly on the document so that the team could see if there were any
differences between the document and the actual setup process.
Due to the long setup process, many pages of notes and information were documented on
the first day. The team needed to sort through information and organize it into usable data.
Several tools were created, the first being the Parking Lot.
The Parking Lot is a tool that can be used throughout the whole problem solving process
as a place where thoughts can be parked until later. The Parking Lot is divided into four sections:
positives, changes, questions, and ideas. The positives are things that are currently going well
for the company. Things that need change are shown under the delta (), the question section is
for any questions the team has. The last section I is a spot to put ideas down that can be reused
later.

Parking Lot

+
- Knives are a major factor in - Knife organization.
setup. - Machine width setup.
- Helpful staff. - Blade setup.
- Tape creation.
- Tape installation.

? I

As intended, the Parking Lot allowed the team to organize their notes from the tour. The
team also put down all their questions, but they were later reorganized in another chart. The ideas
for how these problems could be resolved were written down, which were later moved to the List
of Recommendations, which is why it is blank.
4

After getting the teams thoughts down on the Parking Lot, another tool was needed for
understanding everything that goes on at Plascon. A System Analysis was chosen. A System
Analysis is a tool for understanding processes of a system, which can be used to gain insights
that are useful during the PDSA cycle. A Systems Analysis is made by creating the following
five sections: Aim of the process or system, process/responsibilities/activities, suppliers, clients,
and system measurements the company uses to measure success. These boxes are all connected
to each other because they affect one another.

System Analysis of Plascon

Aim of Process/System
Food Safety
Support customers
Make a profit

Suppliers Process/Responsibilities/Activities Clients

Blow plastic films from plastic Bulk bag


Martial
pellets
plastics manufactures
Cut and seal film into bags
Shields Tear away scrap
Fold and package bags

System Measurements

Asset utilization
Labor utilization
Inventory turnover
Profitability
Shipping on time

The System Analysis of Plascon gave the team an overview of what the company works
to accomplish. It also showed the team what key questions they should be asking to fill in all the
sections, which revealed to the team that a major goal of Plascon was food safety. The team also
5

found out about the major suppliers and customers of the company. The
process/responsibilities/activities section helped the team see how the Gnter fit into Plascon,
which made the team want to learn more about the setup process of the Gnter.
After creating the System Analysis of Plascon, the team wanted to focus in on the Gnter
machine specifically, so a second System Analysis was created, which allowed the team to get a
better overview of the Gnter. It showed some of the same things as the other system analysis,
but this time under processes, the team put down some of the key components to the Gnter
setup. This helped create an idea of what components could be focused on for potential
improvement.

System Analysis of Gnter

Aim of Process/System
Food safety.
Make good quality bags.

Process/Responsibilities/Activities
Suppliers Clients
Setup.
1. Knives/blades Bulk bag
Purchased 2. Tape manufacturers
film. 3. Loading the film
In-house 4. Gap sizing
film. 5. Computer setup
Produce bags.

System Measurements

Asset utilization.
Labor utilization.
Efficiency.

The team realized, after the initial tour of the company, that they had been exposed to
terms they were unfamiliar with. A list was constructed of all the terms. Then, the team
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interviewed some of the Gnters operators to gain a better understanding of terminology used at
Plascon.

Operational Definitions for Plascon

Lay-Flat: Diagram of a bag that runs through the Gnter machine.

Gnter: The bag-forming machine found in Plasport.

Plasport: Packaging department

Film: Rolls of plastic

Scrap: Excess material not used in a final product.

Sidewall: Rectangular length of bag

Spout-Width: Width of the spout found on bags that are run through the

Gnter machine.

Changeover: Setup

After defining all of these terms, the team was able to effectively communicate in a way
that other team members and Plascons employees would understand. This tool did not lead to
many new questions; however, it did help the team easily answer questions that would present
themselves in the future.
After the tour, the team started to transfer many of their questions onto the Parking Lot,
but it was clear that the Parking Lot was becoming overcrowded with questions, so the team
decided to create an Affinity Diagram to improve organization. This tool is created by organizing
the ideas and/or questions that are similar into groups, and then choosing a main topic as well as
a sub topic to label each group.
The Affinity Diagram of Questions is on the next page.
7

Affinity Diagram of Questions


Company Gnter Knives/ Blades
Has the How many How long
company tried orders can does blade
anything to the Gnter setup take?
reduce setup process?
time?

What is the Do first time Has Plascon


available orders take ever bought
budget for longer to new blade
improvements? setup? brackets?

Does Plascon What Does


have a happens to Plascon have
mission the excess extra knife
statement? material? sets?

What are the Why does How often


measurements only one are the
of success for person set the blades
the company? Gnter up? replaced?

What is Could In what


Plascons Plascon increments
available accept new are the
manpower? orders if knives
setup time measured?
was
decreased? How are the
blades
How much organized?
scrap is
produced
during setup?
8

As shown on the chart, the team chose three categories that they felt described the groups
of questions they had created: Company, Gnter, and Knives/Blades. This allowed the team to
quickly gather questions from a specific category to ask an employee all at once without having
to make multiple trips.
Imagineering was the next tool the team decided to use in order to learn more about
Plascon. Imagineering is a brainstorming technique where the team envisions a perfect outcome
of a situation. This tool is composed of a central focus, and several brainstormed ideas that relate
to the central focus. This gives each person on the team an equal opportunity to add any ideas
they have.

Imagineering What Plascon Wants

Make Quality
On-time Deliveries
Products

What does Plascon Setup for Gnter to


Employee Safety
Want? be 1-2 Hours

Food Safety Profit

The team decided to use Imagineering What Plascon Wants to evaluate what Plascon
would like to accomplish. The team chose to make the central focus be What does Plascon
want? Next, the team brainstormed and asked about the goals of the company and found some
of them to be food safety and making good quality products. This tool reminded the team of
Plascons goals so recommended solutions would not negatively affect any of them.
9

Study the Current Situation


After observing a Gnter setup, the team had identified a large number of startup
components that they believed were adding to the setup time. The team chose a tool called the
Lotus Diagram to allow individual components of the Gnter setup to be broken down into small
pieces, and analyzed for any errors or elements that may excessively increase the setup time.

The Lotus Diagram of Gnter Setup Process showed the six main setup components of
the Gnter machine: creating the Teflon and aluminum tape, assembling the knives, loading the
film, setting the sidewall size, setting up the computer, and preforming quality control. This tool
10

allowed the team to identify what was going wrong with a sub step of individual setup
components, and helped in the hunt to find out what was adding time to the Gnter setup.
Using timestamps recorded on the Gnter Work Instructions (See Appendix) during a
setup the team watched, they created a Flowchart of how the setup process was executed. A
Flowchart helps identify key sub processes, and shows the flow of events in addition to where
the problem may be occurring.

Flowchart of Gnter Setup


Start Turn on all 8:15 Get work 8:24 Remove first 8:28-8:45 Change
machinery order form set of blades out first set of
knives

8:45 Reinstall first 9:21 Remove 9:30-9:42 Change 9:45 Reinstall


set of blades second set of out second set of second set of
blades knives blades

* * 10:00-10:45* *
9:45-10:00* Create 10:00-10:45* 10:45-11:00 Set
Teflon tape strips Remove old tape Adhere new tape to bag spout width
seal heads

Set bag sidewall Load new film into Setup settings on Run one bag for
length Gnter computer quality control

Check for bad seals Adjust setup as End Start * Two operators completed this
and defects needed automatic step, where only one is normally
production available

As shown above, the times in red where recorded while the team was watching the
Gunter setup. After the team left, the Gunter setup continued and was videotaped for the team to
look back to. Since the team was not able to record the exact time it took for each step, the
second half of the chart above does not have the times listed.
The team used the Flowchart of Gnter Setup to separate out processes that took the
largest amount of time. This chart also helped the team visualize the setup process, as well as
where possible areas of improvement could be by bringing up the question What is causing
these processes to take so long?
11

After identifying what components of a single setup were taking the longest, a tool was
needed to portray this information in an accessible manner. A Pie Chart was created, outlining all
of the important components that added time to the Gnter setup, as well as showing percentages
and exact numbers. This allowed the team to start considering which issues would be best to
address first.

After creating the Pie Chart of Gnter Setup, the team was able to easily see how much
time each major process took up compared to each other. The team found that applying the
12

Teflon tape to the seal heads took by far the longest, and may be a good area to focus on in the
future.
Taking the data from the Pie Chart of Gnter Setup, the team took out the five most time-
consuming tasks and entered them into a Column Chart. The purpose of a Column Chart is to
compare two or more items using one variable. In this instance the purpose was to compare the
time taken to complete each component of the setup process for the Gnter.

50
Column Chart of Gnter Setup
45 min*
45

40
Time to complete process in minutes

35

30

25

20
17 min
15 min* 15 min
15
12 min
10

0
Change out Change out Create Teflon Remove old Set bag spout
first set of second set of and aluminum tape from seal width
knives knives tape strips heads and
apply new tape
* Two operators completed this step, where only one is normally available

Using the Column Chart of Gnter Setup, the team was able to pinpoint key areas in the
Gnters setup process where a lot of time was being taken up. With this information, the team
13

could ask questions relating to why those processes were taking so long. The team later used the
processes found in this chart as a base for the List of Potential Causes for Gnter Setup.

Define (And Restate / Revise) the Problem


After asking many questions and collecting plenty of data, the group decided it was time
to revise the Initial Problem Statement made earlier so they could more precisely look at the
problem by including new information that had been learned so far.

Revised Problem Statement

Current: Due to the complex setup process, the Gnter takes 4-8 hours to
set up, while also compensating for machine subcomponent
failure.

Impact: The Gnter is not able to process as many orders, the downtime of
the machine is 4-8 hours and some materials are wasted in the setup
process.

Desired: Reduce setup time by 50-75% on the Gnter while ideally having
only one person set the machine up efficiently.

The Revised Problem Statement helped the team focus in on working towards a solution
by providing a clarified picture of the issue. It also gave the team a foundation for the future List
of Recommendations by making sure the recommendations supported solving the problem stated
in the Revised Problem Statement.
14

Analyze the Causes


After further refining the teams definition of the problem, the team decided there was a
need to organize potential causes for the problem. This led to the creation of a Fishbone Diagram
that was created by observing and brainstorming possible components of a problem. These
components are then organized into the four categories: Man, Machine, Method, and Material. In
this way, a Fishbone Diagram is used to organize potential causes for a certain problem.

Fishbone Diagram of Gnter Setup


Method
Material Knife sets arent organized,
causing setup to take longer
Knife setup takes
Teflon tape is a long time Trial and error
difficult to remove
wastes time

Tape replacement
Gnter
takes a long time
takes 4-8
hours to
Broken carbon fiber plates setup
cause bag-seal issues
Operator might
make a mistake
during setup Automatic spout adjuster
Gnter cant be setup
is damaged, making
ahead of time
operators adjust by trial
and error

Man Machine

After constructing the Fishbone Diagram of Gnter Setup, the team realized that the
Machine and Method sections of the Fishbone Diagram were the most problematic. This result
was compared to data gathered earlier, from the Pie Chart of Gnter Setup, to see if the
problematic areas correspond, which they do. The team also used the data contained in the
Fishbone Diagram of Gnter Setup when compiling the List of Potential Causes for Gnter
Setup, which the team decided to make next.
After collecting all the information available from the Pie Chart of Gnter Setup, Column
Chart of Gnter setup, and Flowchart of Gnter Setup, the team took the key areas where the
15

most time was being taken up and brainstormed ways these issues could be resolved. The
generated list, called the List of Potential Causes for Gnter Setup, helped the team to realize the
points in the process that could be improved.

List of Potential Causes for Gnter Setup (Brainstorm)


Unorganized knives take time to sort through

Knives are cut into small pieces making it difficult to achieve the correct
length

No one works on the Gnter during breaks

Creating Teflon tape pieces takes a long time

Removing the old tape from the Gnter takes a lot of time

Trial-and-error is used to find set-up parameters because not all previous


set-ups are recorded

There is only one set of knife holders

Knife holders can get stuck

Quality control wastes a lot of material

Due to sub-component failure, spout-width must be manually set up


instead of using the automatic function

Due to cracked carbon-fiber separators, extra


quality-control is needed to make sure the seals are strong enough

The team later used the data in this chart to brainstorm solutions for the problem outlined
in the Revised Problem Statement and even later sorted those solutions in the Matrix for
Potential Improvement of Gnter Setup process. The chart served as an outline for the main
problems the team was trying to solve and helped make the causes concise and to the point.
After identifying the many causes for the slow changeover time, the team attempted to
locate a root cause. The Interrelationship Diagram normally would have portrayed causes that
might be shared between one or more setup components. This was not the case, however.
16

Interrelationship Diagram

Knife holders
can get stuck Removing the
Creating the
on the machine old tape from
tape pieces
upon removal. the Gnter
takes a long
takes a lot of
time.
(0,0) time.
(0,0) (0,0)

Knives are cut


There is only into small
one set of knife pieces, making it
(0,0) (0,0) hard to get the
holders.
correct length.

Trial-and-error is
No one works used to find set-up
on the Gnter (0,0) parameters
during breaks. because previous
(0,0) set-ups are usually
not recorded.

Quality control Due to sub-


(0,0) component failure,
wastes a lot of
material. (0,0) spout width must
be manually set up
instead of
automatically.
(0,0) (0,0)

Unorganized Due to cracked carbon-


knives take fiber separator plates,
extra quality control is
time to sort needed to ensure a
through. strong enough seal.
17

After creating the Interrelationship Diagram, the team very quickly realized that the
causes were not connected in any way, as you can see by the lack of arrows on the chart.
Because of the complex changeover process, none of the individual components affected any of
the others which made the team change their approach to how to solve the issues. It was decided
that because there was not a single root cause, the team should focus on solving each individual
cause.
After brainstorming some potential solutions, the team needed to determine which ones
were the most effective to address. The team decided that a Matrix for Potential Improvement
would be the best tool to use. This enabled the team to organize and determine the effectiveness
of solutions based on how big of an impact they provide and how hard it is to implement them. It
is created by listing the possible solutions then having the team judge their potential impact, and
then judge how doable the solution is. The team modified this chart by using actual times instead
of a set number. The team then added the potential impact and do-ability scores to get a final
score out of twenty. The team expected to find out which solutions were the most practical to
start with for the largest improvement.

The Matrix for Potential Improvement for Gnter Setup was a complicated chart, and is
located on the next page.
18
19

As the chart shows, the area that was the most effective to address was the Teflon tape
removal/application. This was rated as a ten for the potential improvement part of the chart. The
team used this basis to calculate the potential impact of the rest of the solutions.

Stage 2 Do
Select and Develop a Theory for Improvement
After reading and organizing most of the data that the team had collected, a decision was
made based on the Matrix for Potential Improvement for Gnter Setup on what components
needed to be changed. It was decided that a tool would be needed to organize the conclusion
reached on what would be altered. A simple list was created, that outlined the recommendations
the team thought would be appropriate.

List of Recommendations
1. Replace aluminum and Teflon tape with pre-made reusable aluminum pieces which
easily slide to appropriate lengths over the seal head.
- Potential Time Saved: 110 Minutes

2. Replace the carbon fiber separator plates so additional time is not


required to troubleshoot bad seals.
- Potential Time Saved: 15 Minutes

3. Stagger breaks so there is no down-time on the Gnter set-up.


- Potential Time Saved: 35 Minutes

4. Purchase additional knives and knife holders and set them up ahead of time.
- Potential Time Saved: 20 Minutes

5. Repair the machines spout width by fixing automatic adjustments that cannot currently
be made due to sub-component failure.
- Potential Time Saved: 15 Minutes

6. Keep a detailed log of measurements and other settings/parameters used on each order
so the machine can be set up faster and can be set up ahead of time.
- Potential Time Saved: 0-30 Minutes
*If all recommendations are implemented successfully, the total time saved on a single
changeover could be 3 hours and 20 minutes.

This tool outlined specifically what Plascon would have to do in order to


successfully decrease the changeover time of the machine. The team organized the List of
Recommendations with the recommendations with the highest potential impact at the top, and the
lowest at the bottom. The team also included the potential time each recommendation could save.
20

After determining possible solutions, the team needed a way to show the impact each
recommendation would provide. An If Then chart was chosen for this application. This chart
demonstrates what consequences would occur if a certain action is taken, always landing on an
ideal situation. The team expected the chart provide a visual aid to explain the impact of each
recommendation.

Then
Gnter can be
setup faster. If Then Chart of Gnter can be
setup faster.
Then

Less time is spent in


Possible Solutions Downtime on
quality control. Gnter is reduced
Then
Then
Less time is spent in Downtime on
If quality control. If we If we Gnter is reduced If

Replaced carbon fiber plates Staggered breaks.


How can Gnter be
setup faster?
Implement all suggestions.
Three hours and twenty Replaced Teflon tape with aluminum sliders.
If minutes are saved. If we If we Operators can change
If
the tape faster.
Three hours and twenty Then Then
minutes are saved. Operators can change
Then Gnter can be the tape faster.
setup faster.
If Gnter can be
Gnter can be setup faster. setup faster. Then

Then There can be more


If Gnter setups.

There can be more Gnter setups.


Plascon can take Plascon can Plascon makes
more orders. take more more money.
Then
If orders.
Then

The IfThen Chart of Possible Solutions ended up doing exactly what the team expected,
by providing a visual representation of what would happen if the recommendations were
implemented. The team referred to the IfThen Chart of Possible Solutions when making the
next chart, the Bone Diagram of Ideal Gnter Setup, to determine factors that would support or
inhibit the success of the recommendations.
After imagining the ideal situation provided by implementing the recommendations from
the If Then Chart of Possible Solutions, the team decided it needed another way to show how
to implement the suggestions. The team decided that a Bone Diagram would be the best way to
achieve this. A Bone Diagram is created by analyzing a situation, determining the ideal situation,
and then figuring out what recommendations could be made to transition from the analyzed state
to the desired state, as well as determining what factors would inhibit the transition to the desired
21

state. A Bone Diagram is used to show the bigger picture of a change and provide a visual aid to
explain how to achieve a desired state.

Bone Diagram of Ideal Gnter Setup

Gnter setup (future)


Replace damaged spout auto
adjuster and carbon fiber Short setup time
plates
Trial and error used less
Set knives up while Gnter is
running New spout auto adjuster and
Replace Teflon tape with carbon fiber plates
aluminum sliders
Record computer settings for
orders at quality control

Gnter setup (current)

Long setup time


Trial and error used often Cost to replace
Spout auto adjuster and parts
carbon fiber plates are Available
damaged manpower

The Bone Diagram of Ideal Gnter Setup showed how Plascon would transition from the
current undesirable state into the desired state. It listed out the recommendations that would help
Plascon achieve its desired state, as well as showing the inhibiting factors. The Bone Diagram of
Ideal Gnter Setup did exactly what the team planned it would: provide a visual aid
demonstrating a realistic approach to implementing the recommendations.
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Conclusion
The initial problem presented was that the Gnter changeover time was much higher than
Plascon wanted it to be. Through a wide variety of tools, the team found that there were many
problems contributing to the long setup time. The recommendations for solving these problems
were as follows: replace aluminum and Teflon tape with pre-made reusable aluminum pieces
which easily slide to appropriate lengths over the seal head, replace the carbon fiber separator
plates so additional time is not required to troubleshoot bad seals, stagger breaks so there is no
down-time on the Gnter set-up, purchase additional knives and knife holders and set them up
ahead of time, repair the machines spout width by fixing automatic adjustments that cannot
currently be made due to sub-component failure, and keep a detailed log of measurements and
other settings/parameters used on each order so the machine can be set up faster and can be set
up ahead of time. By implementing these recommendations, the setup time on the Gnter should
be greatly reduced.
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Works Cited
Langford, David P. Tool Time for Education. Version 12. Molt, MT: Langford International, 2008.

Print
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Appendices

Gnter Work Instructions

PDSA Probletunity Improvement Process

Quality Teams Employer Sponsor Worksheet