Case Study
Plastic Packaging
19% increase in OEE
5% reduction in waste
$1.7M total annualised savings
Service line
Business Excellence
15 weeks
Syngroup Office
Cranfield / UK
Plastic Packaging
Our client is a manufacturer of plastic and metal-based packaging products for the cosmetics industry. With manufacturing sites located in Europe, the Americas and Asia, employing 15,000 people and a turnover in excess of $1.5bn.

Having previously delivered several successful improvement projects for our client, we were asked by the CEO to improve the performance of this US-based site, which was experiencing significant performance issues.
A variety of issues including low machine effectiveness (OEE), poor productivity and a high level of waste were causing excessively high manufacturing costs. In addition, operator capability was low due to a historical lack of investment in training.


Our objectives were very clear:

  • Increase machine effectiveness (OEE)
  • Create a mechanism for delivering and monitoring operator training
  • Reduce waste
Focus area
Equipment Performance (OEE)
Standardisation and management of machine operating parameters
Waste reduction
Operator training
Our Approach
  • We initially set out to assess machine performance and quickly identified there was considerable variation across machines and shifts. As we dug deeper into the problem, it transpired that there was no control or standardisation of machine set-up and that control of key parameters was left to the discretion of individual operators.
  • By running structured speed tests and working with operators who were consistently achieving a high level of performance, we were able to identify the ideal combination of machine parameters for delivering improved performance. Through repeated test runs across the entire product range, we verified the ideal machine settings. These were used to populate a ‘Machine Standards Database’ that became the reference point for machine set-up.
    Once the database had been set up, Roles and Responsibilities across the shop-floor were defined and communicated. This was primarily to embed the new standards into the working practice.
  • To address shortfalls in Operator capability, we developed an online training portal. Using a combination of video, slide presentations and other media, we developed a training catalogue to cover the range of operator training needs. The portal allowed the training department to create bespoke training courses for individuals and to track their progress.
  • Machine Operating Standards Database (Ideal Settings)
  • Operator training portal and training content
  • Clarified Roles and Responsibilities
19% increase in OEE
5% reduction in waste
$1.7M total annualised savings
  • Machine Optimisation (Operating parameters by product)
  • Roles and Responsibilities
  • Online training portal