With millions of dollars spent on building state-of-the-art manufacturing capabilities, implementing quality initiatives like LEAN, Six Sigma and others; it’s easy to believe that you’re doing everything that can be done to maximize capacity and yield, while minimizing the total cost of production.
Yet, time after time, we’ve learned that some of the simplest, “lowest hanging fruit” are overlooked or misconceived. If your production cycles employ the application of fluids, there’s a pretty good chance you’re losing money and suffering unnecessarily high costs, unless you are controlling the variability of its temperature at the point of application.
While it’s impossible to pinpoint just how many companies are benefitting from point-of-application (POA) temperature control, our experience would indicate that at most it’s 10%. This means that 90% of fluid application processes are bleeding resources unnecessarily.
There are four fundamental prongs of the POA proposition – any of which easily justify the cost, and when combined provide a tremendous production advantage. What’s more, these benefits begin instantaneously with the implementation of a POA temperature control system (which typically only requires less than one day installation time).
Cut Costs – As the temperature of a liquid changes, so does its viscosity. The typical approach to managing this is to use solvents to mitigate the changes or to accept less than ideal production results; both of which directly impact costs. POA temperature control eliminates this issue without using solvents while improving the outcomes and consistency of the process.
Increase Capacity – Another adjustment made to mitigate the negative effects of temperature variance is to run equipment slower than it is capable of, or to accept lower first pass yield, requiring the need for more rework. Here again, POA temperature control allows you to virtually eliminate rework and speed up your equipment.
Improve Quality – A manufacturer with a complex supply chain was forced to accept inconsistent product or deal with unacceptable production cycle times. The inconsistency was caused by the variability in how temperature was managed by different suppliers in the chain. Introducing POA temperature control enables manufacturers to gain the desired consistency without slowing production cycles.
Shorten Production Cycles – Most coaters run test strips to ensure consistency before a production cycle has begun, obviously slowing the process down. POA temperature control enabled us to create “recipes” (pressure, flow, speed, material temperature, etc.) for them, resulting in the elimination of these test strips.
In virtually every situation, the investment in POA temperature control is more than recovered within the first year, with common ROI in the 6 – 12 month range. What’s more, implementing POA temperature control does not require disruption to a manufacturing process and training times are less than one day.
We’re big fans of quality management programs (we employ LEAN ourselves), and believe that continual investment in your production process is critical to maintain competitiveness. But, don’t look past the simple stuff – it can have more impact than you can imagine.