PAK2000 raises the WCO bar


Executive Summary
PAK2000 ­­— Astrapak Rigid Division’s blow-moulding site in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa — embarked on TRACC’s World Class Operations (WCO) when the site productivity was low, and there was a high percentage of unrecoverable and printing scrap. Within 18 months, the site achieved its goal of reaching Stage 2.5 and becoming the Astrapak group’s benchmark site for WCO implementation, and being voted the group’s Plant of the Year. The blow-moulding Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) improved by almost 20%, an unprecedented achievement for a batch manufacturing process. The blow-moulding unrecoverable and printing scrap both decreased to less than 1% each.


SituationPAK2000 raises the WCO bar results
The Rigids Division in KwaZulu-Natal launched its WCO journey with TRACC with the target of achieving Stage 2.5 across the foundation practices in 18 months. Launching WCO at PAK2000 came at a difficult time: site productivity was averaging 60%, unrecoverable blow-moulding scrap was more than 9%, and printing scrap stood at 10% plus. In addition, the company’s financial situation required management and team restructuring which adversely affected morale.

The initial three months of implementation showed slow progress mainly because the focal point was to restructure. However, the key reason for the successful implementation was that the then general manager, Gareth Elcox, had a clear vision of how WCO would transform the business.

Despite pressure to keep the processes running to meet customer demand, Elcox made a firm decision to ensure that no shortcuts were taken on releasing personnel for WCO training and implementation.

A strong Implementation Task Force was set up comprising representation from all business spheres: sales, planning, manufacturing, quality, technical, engineering, shop floor representation, warehouse and distribution. A full-time WCO facilitator was appointed from the shop floor to concentrate on WCO implementation and internal training.

An initial loss and waste analysis highlighted material waste and lost time as focus areas. The first round of Profit Improvement Projects (PIPs) concentrated on blow-moulding unrecoverable scrap and blow-moulding productivity. PIP leaders for the initial projects were from the management team, and have since been extended to include team leaders and technicians.

Blow-moulding OEE improved from 65% to 84%. This is an exceptional achievement for a batch manufacturing process.

Also, the Syspro information management system has been designed in line with WCO principles to ensure quick and accurate performance tracking by machine/work centers. The system now generates a monthly loss and waste analysis to facilitate easier identification of improvement opportunities.

Team Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are aligned with business objectives and are measured and displayed per team and machine. Every quarter the teams celebrate successes and plan a team building event. A simple reward system was designed in line with the team performance targets and individual team members are also rewarded for going the extra mile.

The site comfortably achieved the group target of Stage 2.5 within 18 months. In 2010, PAK2000 was named Astrapak Plant of the Year and has become the group’s benchmark site for WCO implementation.

The site comfortably achieved the group target of Stage 2.5 within 18 months.


Since then, the site has embarked on the TRACC pillar practice of Asset Care, and Supply Chain Alignment (nowadays referred to as Value Chain Alignment), and is currently planning implementation of Green Belt Six Sigma training.

Blow-moulding OEE improved from 65% to 84%. This is an exceptional achievement for a batch manufacturing process. Blow-moulding unrecoverable scrap dropped from 6% to 0.5%, and printing scrap decreased from 7% to 0.9%.



Company Background
Astrapak is a focused group of companies in South Africa specializing in producing and supplying plastic packaging. The group currently employs more than 3,400 people and operates nationally through two divisions: Flexibles and Rigids. These businesses supply specialized plastic packaging to the food, beverage, confectionery, fruit, petrochemical, industrial and general merchandise markets. Operations are concentrated in specific areas from high-volume low-cost producers to high-tech specialized companies.
Founded in 1994, PAK2000 is part of Astrapak’s Rigids Division. Based in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, the company does blow-moulding and decorating for the petrochemical industry. The product range focuses on the motor vehicle lubricants sector, with blow-moulded polyethylene containers ranging from 200 ml to 5 l.

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