Tex Plastics Increases Efficiency Thanks to New Intouch System

Tex Plastics was looking to improve overall efficiencies with a particular focus on real-time visibility across their operations to reduce downtime, facilitate faster response times when there was a problem in production, and reduce scrap, and Intouch was their answer.

With a focus on quality and cost for their clients, Tex was looking to enhance and improve their current production processes and efficiencies.

Case Study Video:


Overarching Goal for Tex Plastics

Tex Plastics was grappling with challenges such as unexpected downtime and a lack of actionable real-time data. They needed to swiftly identify and address production issues and proactively manage their downtime.

Tex wanted to improve their measurement of scrap across all their production to reduce waste throughout the system. Although the business was efficient and focused on customer quality, they recognised that manual data-collecting methods slowed their ability to improve efficiency.

With pressures on operating costs and materials for production, Tex was keen to improve and increase throughput for all their production lines, but not at the expense of quality. The goal was to reduce lead times and maintain their high-quality customer service.

Seeking a solution and a partner that reflects their values

Following a comprehensive assessment of the solutions on the market, Kevin Payne, Operations Director for Tex Plastics, selected Intouch, which they felt reflected their values of customer service and an intuitive technology that could easily be implemented and trusted by their operators and team.

In 2023, Kevin implemented the Intouch system, which is tailored to integrate with Tex’s existing machinery of varying ages. The focus was on enabling real-time monitoring of press cycle times and scrap production, distinguishing start-up scrap/costs from general production scrap/costs.

Stakeholder Engagement: This phase involved close collaboration with Tex’s teams to ensure the solution aligned with their production goals and effectively addressed specific challenges.

The Solution

Real-Time Monitoring- The Intouch system provided a real-time monitoring dashboard, alerting operators to issues such as machine downtime thanks to the large displays within each manufacturing cell (zone), allowing operators to respond quicker and reduce overall downtime.

Scheduling- The real-time scheduling module enables TEX to get an overview of their capacity. In the event of downtime, the team can identify bottlenecks within the live GANTT chart and re-organise work orders to prevent jobs from running overdue, keeping their customers satisfied.

Reporting- The OEE reports are used within the daily production meetings at TEX Plastics, which can be accessed with a button. Previously, this data would have been manually calculated using paper production sheets.

The time saved means that the team can effectively analyse the reports, put corrective actions in place where necessary, and further use the data to justify investments and changes.

Examples of How Tracking Production Has Improved Process and Quality

The Intouch system allows the whole production team to monitor production scrap and production output in real-time, leading to a faster response time to fix any issues or inefficiencies which may arise.

The real-time monitoring allows for instant capturing of press cycle times, resulting in the output being maintained at the correct speed, which, alongside the scheduling module, highlights any work orders due to overrun and enables the team to intervene, leading to them consistently meeting customer delivery targets.

Kevin Payne, Operations Director at Tex Plastics, said:
“The system has enabled us to reduce/remove our daily production sheets so that we are now paperless; this means the data is always up to date and accessible anywhere in the world.”

Kevin also highlighted the benefit of recording production scrap digitally, enabling them to review the root cause and implement corrective measures to reduce scrap. As a result, they have ultimately managed to increase efficiency and profitability.

ISO 13485:2016 approval

Tex Plastics operate two separate clean-room facilities, and the Intouch system enables the team to monitor production within these rooms without the need to apply the mandatory PPE and keep the risk of contamination to an all-time low, which is a testament to their recent ISO 13485:2016 approval and proves Tex’s commitment to quality.

Kevin said:
“We can monitor our start-up scrap/costs and separate this cost from our general production run scrap/costs, and any high levels of scrap can now be acted on through a shift as in real-time.

“Slow cycle times are now highlighted and can be challenged, ensuring production costings and customer delivery times are met.

“The data generated by Intouch is used to highlight operator, tool or press faults leading to improvement actions being generated.”

Dan Herbert, Production Planner at Tex Plastics, said
“Before Intouch was implemented, we used a T-card system, which was slow, inaccurate and easy to make mistakes. Whereas now everything is visible, everyone is working to the same plan, and everything is available at our fingertips.”

Dan continues to explain that he can now easily pre-load unique TPP numbers onto the system, which allows him to generate a work-to-list that he shares within his daily production meetings, which saves a lot of time.

Dan also said, “I find Intouch very easy and intuitive to use”, an essential factor when choosing a production monitoring system.

The Outcome

Enhanced Production Efficiency and Cost Savings- The implementation significantly reduced machine downtime and operational costs, with instant capturing of issues and quicker repair times.

The system enabled Tex Plastics to monitor and act on various production parameters in real-time. This approach helped maintain production standards and facilitated ongoing improvements based on operator, tool, or press performance data.

Client Satisfaction and Future Opportunities- Tex Plastics experienced an improvement in overall production efficiency and customer satisfaction.

The success of this project established Intouch Monitoring as a go-to provider for manufacturing monitoring systems, paving the way for future engagements in the sector.

Read more news from Intouch here.



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