Boddingtons Improves OEE by 39% with Intouch – Case Study

Boddingtons Plastics was seeking to collect fast and accurate production data so they could understand what processes were not performing to the levels they wanted to achieve. Since implementing an Intouch system back in 2019, they have made incredible improvements to their site’s OEE and utilisation, as well as saving time, improving data accuracy and increasing visibility.

Manual data collection was time-consuming and out of date fast.

Based in Tonbridge, UK, Boddingtons have two facilities, housing a total of 39 machines. One of their facilities is designed for their technical injection moulding and assembly department, while the newer, second facility is for their medical and clean products. The stunning facility houses its class 7 clean room with 17 moulding machines ranging from 50t to 180t and a white room with machines ranging from 50t to 160t.

Boddingtons Plastics previously monitored rejects, downtime and output using a manual process and a spreadsheet system, which meant that the data collected was always historic. This provided limitations in their ability to react, often providing an inaccurate picture and taking hours to process. This lack of real-time visibility justified the business case for an MES system.

They investigated other systems in the market that could deliver against their primary objectives. Due to the nature of traditional hardwired systems, the capital outlay costs were too high, which meant that the cloud-based Intouch production monitoring system was a perfect fit for them.

Wayne Allen, Operations Manager at Boddingtons said “Having worked with Intouch at a previous company, I could see the benefits of an MES system and what improvements and opportunities it could bring to Boddingtons

Since implementation, back in 2019 they have managed to make incredible improvements to their site’s OEE and utilisation, as well as saving time, improving data accuracy and increasing visibility.

39% improvement in OEE over 2 years
  • Boddingtons have taken full advantage of the MESi Reporting module
  • The MESi Reporting module is a great tool which means we can run reports and analytics on certain machines, jobs, tools. The reporting is used at our daily morning production meetings and to generate monthly reports. Doing these reports used to take several hours, if not days. Now it only takes about 1 minute
  • In 2021, their site wide OEE was at 61%, in 2022, this improved to 68% and so far in 2023 YTD they are at 85% OEE, a 39% improvement since implementing Intouch!

The challenge

Boddingtons Plastics was seeking to collect fast and accurate production data so they could understand what processes were not performing to the levels they wanted to achieve. This would enable them to assign the right resources to understand the root cause of machine performance and put a corrective measure in place.

When evaluating their options, they had just completed building a purpose-built factory housing a class 7 cleanroom for manufacturing its medical products. This meant they needed a system to help them overcome manufacturing issues over multiple sites, bringing all production data to one central system, which could be accessed remotely.

Wayne added “We knew Intouch was the right partner for us due to previous relationships, excellent UK support and their intuitive software

Up and running in 1 week

Wayne Allen, Operations Manager at Boddingtons Plastics commended Intouch for the straightforward implementation process and praised Lucy Hardwick for her support during the onboarding process. As a result, they managed to get the system up and running in one factory within a week.

Wayne also highlights how the InTouch system is intuitive and easy to use, thanks to the online training videos which are easily accessible and can be used by new staff. The access to learning and training, along with a knowledgeable onboarding and support team at Intouch facilitated a very speedy process to be up and running and benefiting from the system in one week.

The approach

When Boddingtons Plastics approached Intouch in 2019, they were spending many hours manually sorting through production data, which quickly became out of date.

They initially installed the system onto a few machines but did not install interfaces at the machines, so staff were unaware that there was an MES system in place. On one manual job alone, the OEE was at 68%, once the interface was installed and the staff were aware of the system, they instantly improved by 5% OEE. This was more than enough to justify the monthly subscription straight away!

The team would spend many hours calculating their OEE from various spreadsheets of production data, but the senior team could never be 100% sure that the figures were accurate.

Now, they no longer have an administrator inputting the data to calculate efficiencies and capacity daily, which has helped save them money and assisted with the quick ROI and payback.

The production planners would have had to previously track down a supervisor either by phone or physically find them across their two buildings to understand the situation.

Wayne outlined that there was some resistance to implementing MES from some areas of the business. Firstly, the initial issue was justification for an MES system in terms of capital outlay – as most solutions on the market would require Capex approval to implement. This was overcome with the introduction of the subscription-based monitoring system.

Secondly, there was resistance from the shop floor staff who believed the system could be viewed as a “big brother” tool. This was very quickly overcome once the system had been installed, as they could see the benefits gained from having a system in place which makes their job easier.

The solution

Since implementing Intouch, Boddingtons has reported positive feedback from several departments within the business.

Wayne explains, “The biggest improvement is the quick, real-time data. We use Intouch to calculate our KPIs but, more importantly, to better understand which processes have poor OEE and why. With this, we can make improvements to the process

Shop-floor level operators and setters use the system daily to enter downtime, scrap and manage tool changes, which saves them a lot of time.

Our customer service team and production planners also have access so they can instantly see if a machine is running and if the order is due to complete on time.

The maintenance and production support teams also have access to run downtime reports on machines or processes. The logistics team leader also uses this data to know which machines are running and the orders that are ending, so he can prepare and issue materials to the machines ahead of time in the correct order.

Being able to access the system anywhere on a mobile device and running reports gives me instant data so I can make informative decisions based on the data.”

The Results

Boddingtons Plastics faced challenges with manual data collection, lack of accurate data, and resistance from staff when implementing an MES system. However, after implementing the cloud based Intouch production monitoring system, they were able to make incredible improvements to their site’s OEE and utilisation, save time, improve data accuracy, and increase visibility.

They were able to integrate their ERP system, deliver orders on time, and achieve a 39% improvement in OEE over 2 years. The approach of starting with a few machines and gradually expanding, as well as addressing initial concerns from staff, proved successful in achieving a positive ROI and payback. Boddingtons Plastics has benefited from the intuitive and easy-to-use Intouch system, gaining instant visual management and real-time production data, which has helped them streamline their operations and improve overall efficiency.

Watch the testimonial video here.

The future

Moving forward, Wayne has plans to further invest in the Intouch system by implementing the new energy monitoring module across all machines so that the business can collect further data, which can help them make additional cost savings and better-informed decisions. This project is scheduled for Q2, 2023, with the hope of being operational by the end of summer as we move into another winter where energy costs are naturally a greater concern.

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