A great case for going Green - Coil coater case study.
A prominent Coil coating company was experiencing significant Quality issues that they were having trouble solving. They had streaking, "fish eyes", (bubbles), edge blistering and color match issues. They produced a bunch of scrap at start-up in order to get their process adjusted to meet the demands of the day (Temperature fluctuations, line speed, specific material requirements etc.) Upon review of their process and their issues (not just quality, but also excess solvent use, wasted paint, wasted labor, excess permitting costs for VOCs, excess scrap production...and constantly variable process conditions), it was determined that relatively easy solutions were available...but at a cost.
The necessary equipment upgrades would run about $375,000.00...needles to say there was significant sticker shock. It was explained that the resulting cost savings
should conservatively be around $1.25 Million per year. This was supported by hard data that was indisputable. Did they jump on board and quickly make the changes?
No. Did they use the collected data to immediately bump the project up on the capital request list? No. Why not? That's a GOOD QUESTION!
The truth is that businesses are comprised of people and they don't all have the same priorities. The line operators didn't want a new"burden" to deal with in their
daily set-up. Never mind that the change would make their lives much easier. The quality Engineers wanted the improvement but had numerous other projects in
the pipeline that they didn't necessarily want to displace. The plant manager had even more issues that he was chasing down, and he didn't really understand
the issues at stake, or the solution. The challenge is trying to get all the PEOPLE to understand the solution so that each department can feel comfortable
with the change. Change is scary. Ultimately the company got on board and made the process change....but it was two years AFTER the initial consultation was made. Their avoidable losses in that time-frame were easily $ 2.5 milllion.
Once the upgrades were made and the benefits were being realized (at about 80% of what was actually available....because change IS scary), They were able to document savings that provided for a Return on Investment ($375K) in TWO MONTHS....much quicker than the conservative estimate provided by the process consultant.
Does this (true) story sound like your operation? Don't wait for bleeding to stop itself. Hire a process consultant. Much of what you learn will be completely unknown to
even the most seasoned process veteran in your company. Or maybe he will know the truth and need someone to support what he'd been telling you for years.
Regardless, having the formulas that can predict the ROI and the know how to implement the positive change will help your company save money. Talk to a process optimization consultant. It pays for itself...as soon as you pick up the phone.