Client: Major European Brewery



The Summary

helped this major European brewery achieve sustainable improvements amidst a growing number of brand changeovers and changing market demands. These improvements included a 30% increase in productivity in the bottling lines; more streamlined maintenance procedures and management of raw materials to further eliminate production variability; and better communication and teamwork amongst employees in various departments. This company went on to achieve a 50% increase in overall productivity.


"With the improvements that HMC helped us to realize, we have increased output and planned targets because we are confident that we can produce at a much higher level than in past. "

John E., Technical Support Manager
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

"Hardy and his team have given us the tools needed to be more efficient, along with fully functional systems for us to emulate in other plants. We now have a solid foundation for moving forward and growing our business."

Alex R., Director of Production Operations
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

"The HMC project was undoubtedly a success! We have already achieved the outputs we anticipated and the results have been sustained long-term. I believe this project was so successful because HMC understood the importance of communication between the people at all levels-this is crucial when implementing major changes that are expected to last. "

Martin T., Production Director


The Challenge
This company was faced with the challenge of transforming its manufacturing operations to become more responsive to consumers. In order to do this, it had to invest in a new facility. This new facility was charged with supporting small lot sizes and responding to fast-changing consumer demands in the U.K. and other countries.

The new plant was producing at full capacity, seven days a week-however, since brands were being built up so quickly with high actual volumes-demand wasn't being met. The wide variety of bottle shapes, labels, and label positions required extensive equipment changeover each week. To meet target production costs and achieve desired efficiency levels, plant managers concluded that the changeovers needed to be more efficient.

The company hired HMC to do a comprehensive analysis of its entire operation in an effort to increase bottling line efficiencies and achieve sustainable improvements.

The Approach
To understand the entire manufacturing process and to identify the major causes of inefficiency, the HMC team initiated an extensive diagnostic analysis of the bottling process. The analysis included statistical measurements, interviews with production and management personnel, and a review of the bottling procedures. Moreover, behavior routines and key production variability were closely monitored over a 3 week period, 24 hours a day seven days a week. Live, minute-to-minute data was captured and recorded, along with the nature and frequency of interruptions and the variability of output.

Armed with such detailed information, HMC was able to pinpoint the causes of lost production in the changeover process. Additionally, they discovered that there was no system in place to ensure changeovers were standardized and consistent. HMC devised and implemented standard procedures that immediately reduced downtime and greatly improved changeover efficiency.

The HMC team also learned that maintenance procedures were inefficient and unstructured causing longer than necessary machine downtime for repair. Again, HMC devised and implemented a new maintenance scheduling system and control systems that freed up craftsmen to work on more complex problems and gave machine operators more responsibility for their machines. They further developed new roles for management, supervisors and technical support, so that communication between shifts improved and a focus was shifted to "line performance" rather than "shift performance"-a subtle yet important change.

Lastly, the HMC team implemented improvements in the management of materials that led to better supplier relationships and elimination of many nuisance problems that previously plagued the bottling operation. They also developed a modular training format using the best methods to speed up changeovers and to ensure smooth line operations.

The Results
As a result of
HMC's holistic approach to solving these problems, the new plant achieved a sustainable improvement of 30% in their bottling lines, well over the target of 22%. The plant continues to maintain operational excellence and their methods are being implemented in other plants within the Brewery. The essential ingredient to sustained success had been the involvement of operators in the development of baseline procedures, to ensure personal ownership, commitment, and accountability for the new ways of working.


©2004 HMC, Inc. All rights reserved | Contact Us