The Plattsburgh plant implemented a portable air conditioning process, which helped to improve usage savings at the plant. This project was started because the team realized the product (APPeX® 4S Embossed) was too hot coming into the first compression roller. The roll was getting a good emboss; however, the compression roller was smashing the hot embossed product, forcing the operators to use more mix in the product to achieve required thickness and weight specifications.
The team had several goals for this project. The first goal, was to reduce the amount of mix needed to gain thickness and meet the weight requirement. Second, was to cool the embossed product before entering the first compression roller. The third goal, was to be able to run the product at a faster rate. The fourth, and final goal of the project involved ensuring the roll kept a good visual emboss pattern. Developing this project was a way to help improve the overall functionality of the line and ensure the product lives up to expectations and meets specifications. Justin Bushey, Team Leader, stated “I feel proud and happy to be able to solve a problem that saves the company money. Everyone should be thinking of ways to improve our product for a stable future.”
The team achieved their goals by attaching the air conditioner to the existing air knifes before and after the emboss roller. This allowed the product to cool enough before it enters the compression roller. Cooling the product before it enters the compression roller helps save the emboss from being compressed out of the product. By keeping the emboss, the team is able to use less mix in the product to obtain the thickness and weight specifications. The team is also able to run the product at a faster rate, without sacrificing the emboss or having roller issues. Brad Sherry, Production Superintendent noted, “I feel the success of the project is a great example to the problem solving and teamwork between one of our team leads, Justin Bushey, and one of our maintenance technicians, Rob Stefaniak, of what can be accomplished when thinking and working together.”
Since the installation of the portable air conditioner, the cost savings associated with producing embossed product has nearly doubled. The improvement has also delivered a significant increase of usage savings totaling almost 63 thousand dollars. In addition to the cost savings and usage savings, the line speed on associated products has increased considerably. Overall, by meeting all of the goals, the project had a substantial impact on the plant and had a successful outcome.