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FLEXO Magazine : January 2009
PLANTS & PROCESSES In an effort to make the most out of its most valuable re- source—the human resource—Meyers began investigating Lean manufacturing principles. “The first thing we did was send every- one that was involved to get training to understand Lean princi- ples,” said Moffett. “The big project has been the front office and cleaning up that workflow and reducing our lead-time to process an order. That also includes cellular manufacturing.” Employee reaction to the effort,Moffett claimed, was wide- spread. “Some people see it right away and think it’s great. And then you get others who think they are going to get fired,” he said. “You have to go through the process and letting people know that this is not to eliminate jobs, but instead to make sure that every- one is performing value added tasks. So we went through the flow diagrams of how many steps people have to take. There are people running back and forth to the front office to discuss a job.” In addition,Meyers employs just-in-time delivery from some suppliers, and other inventory reduction methods. It’s also made modifications to the press area to maximize machinery usage. “We have a catcher and we asked how we can better utilize it to reduce labor costs,”Moffett said as an example. One thing the company did was install conveyers from two Webtrons to the catcher. And while Moffett admits the catcher can still be utilized more, he insisted that this and other Lean practices have reduced labor by 30 percent. FLEXO: ADVANCED Moffett is a graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology’s School of Printing. While an undergrad, he took the Advanced Flexography course work, but un- til coming to Meyers 12 years ago, his work was all in offset. “When I first came here it was to put the quality systems in place, and go through the ISO processes. It was more on the corporate level,” he said. Seven years ago, however, the company decided to get back to the fundamen- tals of good printing and process control. That’s when Moffett stepped in, putting procedures in place, and officially becoming a flexo guy. Today, the company is looking to step things up. It recently completed its first G7 test. Moffett stated that the production crew is gradually adopting and incorporating FIRST (Flexographic Image Reproduction Specifications and Tolerances) guidelines. “We are using FIRST color schemes in prepress. A lot of those prin- ciples are in place already.”He expressed some interest in the FIRST printer certification pro- gram being worked through TEST (Technical Education Services Team), as well as press per- sonnel training options. “This way CPCs know that if they send us a file we will know what to do with it. When the new one comes out we will have to go through that and see what we need to change.” ? 40 FLEXO JANUARY 2009 Hormel is one of Meyers Label’s largest customers. A 2005 FTA Excellence in Flexography silver award winning submission from Meyers Label. www. f le xography. org
End of Year 2008