Heidelberg Performance Plus Transforms Pressroom Operations at Contemporary Graphic Solutions
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Kennesaw, GA - Heidelberg is pioneering its new Performance Plus program in conjunction with a pilot at Contemporary Graphic Solutions (CGS), Pennsauken, NJ. Eight months into the yearlong project, the company has made remarkable progress toward reducing makeready times and boosting the output of its pressroom. The company's results are so remarkable that it most recently recorded a performance increase exceeding expectations outlined in the ramp-up plan developed in collaboration with Heidelberg.
"The initiative we started with Performance Plus is intended to drive down cost and increase equipment efficiency and flexibility to acquire more business. This program builds on CGS' internal systems to allow us to offer cost savings through increased efficiencies and allows us to stay competitive," said company President Tim Moreton. Added Pressroom Manager Tom McKeen, "I don't think we could have increased pressroom efficiency the way we have in the last eight months without Heidelberg Performance Plus."
Driving Change Initiated in September 2013 with a goal of attaining a 30 percent performance increase, Performance Plus has enabled Contemporary Graphic Solutions to sustain significant increase in productivity per month on the company's Speedmaster XL 105 6+L. Here some stats:
- Savings of more than 700 hours' production time;
- Significant improvement in key indicators, such as net output and makeready time;
- Maximum performance increase of 40 percent achieved in March 2014;
- Substantial cost savings.
As a result of these process improvements, the company has been able to optimize its shift model and leverage production capacity. Performance Plus activities range from proactive maintenance of repairs through Heidelberg's Remote Monitoring capability, classroom and on the job training of the entire production crew, as well as targeting key process improvements in and around the press room.
Performance Plus also strengthened other internal activities at CGS that were already in progress prior to starting the program, including the company's 5S program and additional standardized procedures. A key element of the program's success is the fact that CGS employs a Director of Continuous Improvement. This helps to drive the program internally.
In addition to enlisting active management support and providing the means to ensure comprehensive, accurate data tracking, a chief aim of the Performance Plus is to make sure supervisors and operators are committed to the program, reassuring them that the goal of Performance Plus is to make their jobs easier, not harder. Additional training can help. In many cases, Performance Plus removes the fear of operator error by showing operations personnel that the machine requires very little manual adjustment.
"Pressroom supervisors and operators have to become fully engaged in the program," agreed Bob Reilley, VP Operations. "Handing out certificates for training and publicly recognizing the achievement of our operators was very important. Most of them are proud to wear a t-shirt that calls out our 30 percent improvement objective. Performance Plus is a challenging project that is changing the culture in our pressroom, and throughout other areas of our facility, for the better."
Even perceived minor deficiencies in process, maintenance, training, color management and other areas can lead to not utilizing the equipment and staff at its highest possible efficiency, ultimately resulting in unnecessary production costs and the loss of significant savings potential. Performance Plus is a low-risk, results-driven program intended to maximize utilization in any or all of these areas, enabling customers running Heidelberg equipment to achieve the highest net output from man and machine. Performance Plus is funded by 50 percent of the total savings achieved by the performance increase. There is no up-front cost to the customer.
The work begins with a review of production data and overall processes ("Evaluation") that includes needed repairs and value-stream mapping focused on major problem points. Based on the results of this initial survey, Heidelberg business consultants determine current productivity levels and develop a set of specific efficiency and cost savings goals, customized to the business ("Design"). The resulting business case becomes part of an integrated master plan listing all necessary activities, including quarterly review milestones. "Implementation" includes all training, service, support, workshop and consulting activities, as needed. Output and savings are tracked and discussed with the company on a continuous basis for the duration of the project, typically one or two years. At the conclusion of the program, the company will receive a Performance Plus certificate that attests to having completed the program.
"Everything started the 'right way,' with optimizing the equipment's performance, process analysis and training of our operators," said Leo Rodriguez, Director of Continuous Improvement at CGS. "It was a step-by-step approach that eventually changed the way we do things."
A Service Only Heidelberg Can Offer
Heidelberg is the only U.S. print media company to adopt a holistic approach to performance improvement that draws from the full scope of Heidelberg's print media expertise. The program is ideal for companies with annual revenues above $10 million, using Heidelberg presses manufactured since 2004.
"Heidelberg wants to partner with successful, ambitious print production companies that are eager to succeed. This was one reason why CGS was chosen as the pilot company for this program," said Richard Mack, head of the Performance Plus program at Heidelberg. "There needs to be an openness to collaborate with Heidelberg and drive Performance Plus internally. Then the potential to increase productivity and reduce cost is huge."