Time for continuous improvement

Saving money by optimizing your dosing / weighing system

Photo: Pictures of Money – “State of the Economy” by Flickr

In the previous article we have seen the advantages of using the ℮-sign. The costs can be reduced compared to a dosing system without the ℮-sign, the minimum quantity. This doesn’t mean that there can’t be a cost reduction, when the minimum quantity system is used.

Suppose that you are commercializing a product with a declared weight of 500 g with or without ℮-sign. Your registrations show that you are dosing an average of 550 g. That’s 10 % to much of product in each packaging and you “offer” 1 of 10 packages.

4 reasons to prevent or minimise this overdose as much as possible:

  • The cost aspect. With each package you give product away. Maybe this “gift” is included in the price, but in this case, there is room to improve your competitive position.
  • There is (food) waste. It is undesired from the point of view of corporate ethics.
  • It’s necessary to buy more raw materials in order to provide the number of units of final product.
  • The nutritional information isn’t correct when you take into account the number of portions mentioned on the packaging (more energy, fat, sugar, salt).

The causes of overdosing
We can mention as causes of overdosing:

  • An insufficient comprehension of the filling process.
  • A big statistical process distortion.
  • The operators aren’t sufficiently qualified.
  • A lack of awareness of the fact that there is an overdose.
  • A lack of vision.

Work on the subject
By working on the subject, the costs can be saved. Only the purchase of equipment is not enough because this is only a means. There must be someone who observes the process and who signals opportunities for improvement:

  • Put the dosing process as an internal audit subject.
  • At a regular basis, let an external audit be carried out to be aware of the latest developments.
  • Invest in the reduction of the process distortion.
  • Weigh, register and use the data.
  • Quantify the overdosed product, for example in “offered” units and also in amount.
  • Inform the operators.

Saving money
The amount that can be saved depends on the extent of the overdose and the price of your product. Investments should be made to optimize the process. One person must take responsibility for this project.

Additional advantages: being consciously engaged with this subject, a culture of improvement is encouraged. This will have its positive impact on other aspects of the company.

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