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Case Studies

Manufacturing Improvement Case Studies


Employee Engagement – 50% improved output

The LI team supported the Bars business unit at Weetabix in achieving tremendous improvement through strong employee engagement.  This resulted in the Weetabix team winning Food Manufacturer of the Year.  The implementation included training and coaching of operators, technicians and front line managers, coupled with a series of impact workshops with 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


LI Europe conducted an Opportunity Valuation at Largo Foods site in Gweedore, Donegal.  LI 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.

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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.  LI Europe undertook a detailed diagnosis of the plant and the planning processes.  As a result, a series of workshops to address problems which were limiting output and yield followed – resulting in operational savings of around £1m per year, and stock reductions of over £2m.
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Waste Reduction – £200k Reduction in Material Costs

LI Europe was asked by a major cake manufacturer to train and coach the site team in their largest factory.  Although the line was already highly 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.  LI conducted a series of breakthrough improvement workshops at both sites to train a range of staff in using rapid improvement tools.  The team achieved line speed increases of at least 10%.  Three workshops were held at each site, focussing on a range of line issues from improving line control, reducing downtime, and improving changeover times.

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Fresh Produce Packaging – Reduced Downtime

A manufacturing and packing arm of a large UK retailer invited LI Europe to run a two-week workshop with the aim of considerably reducing the amount of downtime.  As a result, product changeover times were slashed, resulting in a site saving of £69,000.  Additionally, a further £160,0000 of savings could be achievable were the programme 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-distributionLI Europe 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 LI Europe to help the company overcome issues with production planning and raw material yields.  With LI Europe help, the Factory output 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 LI Europe to help reduce waste on plant and improve OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness). Along with encouraging significant cultural changes, LI Europe helped 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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A multinational pharmaceutical and OTC medicine business invited LI Europe 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 worked with LI Europe 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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Embedding Excellence

lauras-resources-tipsLI Europe implemented an Excellence programme with a confectionery manufacturer to reduce controllable costs by 28% in less than 18 months. The initial audit clearly indicated a willingness to embark on a programme but a lack of sustainability at all levels – so LI trained the team to implement relevant processes to drive improvements in cost.

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Over the past three months I have been concentrating mainly on changeover reduction, waste reduction and increased throughput. There has also been a challenge to behavioural patterns. All of these efforts have been using the knowledge that you gave me and I am delighted to say that all have been successful, culminating in increased throughput, less waste and an increase in OEE from an average of 78% to around 90%. There has also been a marked improvement with people issues.

Alwin Waterhouse, Improvement Manager, British Bakeries

It must be said that the concept of change management which LI were asked to bring in was a very big ‘ask’. Their work on the floor was very beneficial to change management. LI try to problem solve by using the workforce. This has to be done tactfully. They achieved it. They had the respect of the people on the floor and the management which is a major credit.

Peter Barnett, CFO, KR Castlemaine