By Niranjan Kulkarni, Ph.D., Director of Operations Improvement, CRB
A pet food company hired CRB to perform an industrial engineering study for its pet food nutrition facility. Current work practices were not efficient and were highly manual and repetitious.
The objective of the study was to understand the current work practices and procedures, recommend opportunities to improve efficiency by optimizing work processes/flows—making effective use of people and technology—address ergonomic and safety issues and increase the overall productivity of the site allowing more tests in the future. The study focused on different types of animal colonies, central services and the cleaning and kitchen area.
CRB conducted a detailed operations analysis to understand daily routine tasks (frequency and duration), workflows (to identify issues), pain points and improvement opportunities. An operations analysis tool that listed all tasks performed and labor required to perform those tasks was also developed. Spaghetti maps were also developed to capture the travel frequency and distance to complete daily activities.
Over 80 improvement opportunities were identified with an aim to increase capacity, reduce non-value-added activities and improve safety and ergonomics. Major takeaways and improvement opportunities from the study are listed below: