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FLEXO Magazine : August 2010
FIRST & Continuous Improvement Smythe Boosts Productivity by 50% By Ann Warzecha and Kim Madigan the same space every time. During the characterization, we take a snapshot of the controlled processes coming together to create this gamut. The information gathered during this step is used in our proofing device. The opportunity to prove our process everyday is in the numbers, returning to the output devices, specific conditions every time. We take read- ings and document the curves applied during inspection in prepress. We take readings and document the plates and we read and document the press density and dot area for each run. This process needs to be supported with data collected in all areas as a verification that the product is within the defined tolerance. In addition, audits need to take place to watch for any variance that may creep into the process over time. The data collected in all areas of the process allows us the ability to trou- bleshoot effectively and adjust quickly when we run into issues. The numbers help us to understand which area may have caused an issue. When we do adjust, we can make a change based on a number, not a feel, such as lighter or darker. Overall, we have been able to establish a consistent process, acceptable tolerances and documentation to sup- port the process. We need to prove that our process is under control every day. In 2008 and 2009, Smyth worked with a Lean consulting firm to train our Lean leaders and facilitate several of our Kaizen events. Each of Smyth’s three production facilities now have leaders in place who continue to hold Kaizen events and other CI activities on a regular basis. (con’t. on page 79) Kim Madigan, Smythe’s director of corporate color (front), discusses continuous improvement and FIRST with Press Operator Steve Schultz (back, left), and Pressroom Supervisor Greg Fikse (right). MAXIMIZE YOUR HUMAN CAPITAL FOR FLEXOGRAPHIC EXCELLENCE MaxiMize Your Human Capital for flexographic excellence • Maximize efficiency • Boost productivity • Obtain color accurate & consistent results • Give your plant a true competitive advantage • Satisfy your customers faster than ever before • Keep repeat orders flowing • Promote enthusiasm, initiative & innovation among employees The end result? Proficiency –demonstrated by high-quality, repeatable & consistent results. F FTA’s FIRST Operator Certification Program, administered online via the TEST Virtual Campus, is the flexo industry’s standard of excellence. Contact us at 631-737-6020 to setup a demo and begin your journey to a FIRST Certification today! Visit www.flexography.org to learn more. FIRST_Impl_ad_mech.indd 1 6/4/10 1:16 PM August2010_mech.indd 73 8/13/10 7:46 AM
Sustainable Summer 2010