One of the first kits we released in the GainSeeker Platform Library is the Overfill and Package Weight Control Kit. The GainSeeker Platform Library (GPL) is a wiki-like library of solutions to typical manufacturing data problems. Each solution (“Kit”) is a collection of documents and supporting information about a specific use case.
Developing the Overfill and Package Weight Control Kit was an easy decision because this is an application area where clients have seen an early and substantial return on their investment.
For example, an early Hertzler case study was about a client who used the forerunner of GainSeeker Suite – QA/S for DOS if you’re an old-timer – to reduce overfill. Using our innovative “Seven Way SPC Sort”, he was able to pin down and remove variation in the performance of filler heads in a bottle fill line.
The company was filling bottles of a popular household window cleaner. The client reported that they had reduced overfill by a couple of grams per line. I remember he said: “A couple grams are nothing to the consumer. But when you add that up across all the product we sell per year, it’s a lot of money to our company.”
What’s in the Overfill and Package Weight Control Kit
This new GPL kit includes useful information about the federal (US) regulations for net contents management, with links to the NIST 133 document. It also describes the methodology of using statistics and data to drive performance improvement.
The Overfill and Package Weight Control Kit also provides information about how to estimate overfill costs and the savings opportunity in your situation, along with a case study that walks you through the process.
Perhaps the most useful part of the kit is the section on system design considerations for implementing an overfill application in GainSeeker Suite.
Overfill techniques have broader application
Our experience is that the techniques described in this kit actually have much broader applications beyond regulated industries such as food processing and packaging. We’ve seen them used in any situations where a minimum threshold of a material is necessary, and any excess is little value to the consumer but has a significant cost to the producer. Here are a couple of examples:
- A bottle manufacturer needs to make the bottle walls thick enough to deliver the bottle contents safely to the consumer. But if the walls are too thick, the extra material is a waste of material. By controlling and optimizing the bottle wall thickness the manufacturer can optimize material costs.
- Magazines and catalogue printers use a four-color printing process. They need only four colors of ink (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black – CMYK) to produce the range of colors that you see on the printed page. Because yellow is so much lighter than the other colors, printers know that if they put down too much yellow ink, the image can be acceptable, but the costs are higher than they need to be. They’re giving away (overfilling) yellow ink.
I invite you to browse the GainSeeker Platform Library Overfill and Package Weight Control Kit. As part of the kit, you’ll find a link to instructions on how to use GainSeeker’s Overfill (Overpack) Wizard. If you’d like to see what your data looks like in the Overfill Wizard, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or complete the form here.