Klöckner Pentaplast is a global manufacturer of sustainable and recyclable plastic films and high-barrier protective packaging for food, pharmaceutical, health and durable products. Founded in 1965, the business operates 31 plants in 18 countries and employs over 5,900 people. The firm’s Rural Retreat site in Virginia produces PET extrusion heat shrink labels, pharmaceutical packaging, and high-performance barrier films.
The Rural Retreat facility is a highly efficient operation with multiple lines producing a wide range of high-quality products, in a variety of geometric configurations. This brought with it challenges that the manufacturing planning team were trying to overcome and, in particular, they needed to find a way to meet customer requirements for different product widths and lengths, while minimising waste.
Put simply, they needed to make the best use of the material they were producing, but their established SAP solution was not able to achieve this alone. Consequently, the team were using supplemental spreadsheets and additional tools to attempt to maximise the potential to produce similar orders side-by-side, across the width of the extrusion lines.
Greycon started working with Klöckner Pentaplast in 2019, running trials with the world-leading slitting optimisation solution, X-Trim, to assess the potential savings and efficiencies that could be achieved. The initial results were very promising, delivering over 3% reduction in waste.
As Klockner Pentaplast tested X-Trim in the day-to-day operations of the factory, other benefits were found in addition to waste minimisation. Both pattern change and knife change set ups were reduced, adding to the advantage of greater throughput.
Following these highly successful trials, Klockner Pentaplast’s senior management team approved the full implementation of X-Trim. They were so impressed with the impact of X-Trim on the overall operational and financial performance of the business, the solution is now being rolled out to four additional sites with an enterprise agreement for the deployment of X-Trim across the global operation, delivering a partnership that is proving to be mutually beneficial and highly productive.
Greycon transformed our production planning capabilities, introducing modern methods that enabled our teams to optimise the production processes immediately. This allowed our manufacturing groups to reduce waste, increase capacity, and respond to customer expedite requests. The system was integrated quickly by the teams and has become an essential tool for the business.