Think Patented Sees 20 Percent Boost from Heidelberg's Performance Plus
KENNESAW, Ga.—July 30, 2015—As a result of its participation in Heidelberg’s Performance Plus program, Think Patented of Miamisburg, Ohio, successfully and substantially reduced its makeready waste, increased performance and saved significant production cost.
When the company installed a Speedmaster XL 106-5+L UV in April 2013, its press operators faced switching from another manufacturer’s 15-year-old offset press to print technology from Heidelberg. Given the challenges inherent in the transition, when they were made aware of the potential benefits of Heidelberg’s Performance Plus program in November 2014, both Niels Winther, chairman and managing partner and CEO Ken McNerney were very interested.
In collaboration with Heidelberg, Think Patented established five project goals, including (1) identifying potential savings to lower operating cost; (2) standardizing pressroom practices; (3) maintaining the predictability of its pressroom performance for better scheduling accuracy; (4) adding capacity, due to reductions in production and makeready times; and (5) enhancing the competitive position of the business for future growth.
Following a thorough evaluation of the company’s production data and overall processes, Heidelberg identified several opportunities to achieve maximum operational improvement, including:
- Value Stream Mapping Workshop with participants from all departments to generate team-building and motivation;
- Operator Evaluation to define the need for additional training;
- Providing the needed training;
- Prinect Press Optimization, to promote quick color changes with minimal makeready sheets; and
- Monthly project management conference calls to review progress toward the stated goals of the program.
In all, Performance Plus targeted nine specific actions, chosen from among Heidelberg’s extensive Systemservice portfolio, to establish best practices and implement processes that would help Think Patented realize significant production savings.
“The Performance Data [analysis] and leading by the numbers [helped] tremendously to manage the plant,” McNerney noted. “It takes the subjectivity away.”
When the actions were complete, the 12-month program was seen to have saved more than 620 production hours, resulting in a total savings of $237,720. These savings were achieved by means of a 50 percent reduction in makeready waste and a 20 percent average performance increase.
“It was crucial to identify training gaps, [and to] resolve applications and process issues. We have better printers and quality processes as a result,” Winther explained. “We are happy with the outcome of our [Performance Plus] efforts.”
About Performance Plus
Performance Plus is a low-risk, results-driven program intended to optimize all areas of the print shop from Estimating, Prepress Workflow, Pressroom and Postpress to achieve higher profits through efficient production.
“Long-term organizational stability comes from a company’s ability to maximize the quality and efficiency of its production processes,” remarked Richard Mack, director of Performance Plus. “This depends on deriving the highest and best performance from the Heidelberg equipment or area of production in question, something that can be achieved, only when well-trained personnel have the right knowledge and the appropriate tools to do their jobs. Armed with the elements of Heidelberg’s recently relaunched Systemservice portfolio, Performance Plus permits companies to custom-design a program that meets their individual business goals.”
Because the program is funded by 50 percent of the total savings achieved by the performance increase, there is no up-front cost to the customer. The program is ideal for companies with annual revenues of more than $10 million. Organizations that stand to benefit the most from Performance Plus already will have implemented some form of continuous improvement. In all cases, Heidelberg looks to the individual print shop for the willingness to take necessary additional actions to drive Performance Plus internally. Transparency is essential to the success of the project.