January 1, 2020

User Story – Data Changes Everything, If You Can Trust It


A small manufacturing company is using Factbird as part of a significant change, because they realize that trustworthy data, as opposed to just perceptions, can change everything.

Baltic Packaging is a family owned company manufacturing the world famous Consafe® cans, mainly used for transporting and storing paint and various toxic fluids, due to a unique and patented sealing design that has demonstrated unique efficiency during challenging conditions. Instead of upgrading their old system, Baltic added Factbird.

The manufacturing of the can products is highly automated, but with older manufacturing lines that cannot easily be integrated into a modern information network. Baltic Packaging chose Factbird to move towards a fact-based culture of increasing efficiency, based on data that can be trusted, because it is collected automatically.

The manufacturing process of the company is working well, but has high potential for improvements. For example, there is a bottleneck process due to using rubber ovens, which often require overtime work to catch up on the production. 

The company installed the first 4 Factbirds themselves to begin the change process and has been collecting data from the very first day. The first data collection is simply the number of cans produced. The customer got the packages with Factbird and they could easily install it themselves.

Change the mindset

Before the fact measurement, there were many delays in the manufacturing process and the bottleneck process required a lot of overtime work = extra cost. It was hard to change the mindset in the factory; however, after introducing Factbird, it became much easier to change, because decisions are made based on facts. Everyone saw the same numbers, and the results of the changes in the operations were obvious - and based on data. Soon, there were fewer delays and more positive dialogue on the shop floor.

Frederik Larsen, Supply Chain Coordinator at Baltic Packaging, says, “Fact based judgement makes it easier for us to communicate on our shop floor because it backs up the argument.”

For Baltic Packaging, this is a change of mindset and a little step towards changing the culture in manufacturing to a fact-based. Everyone can see how many products have been produced and how it is compared to the orders. The next step will be to get the full experience of what Factbird offers: stop cause analysis, OEE tools, etc, and then add Factbird to more machines - and to increase the number of measurements to enable better maintenance and operation of the existing equipment. Baltic Packaging plans to install the next Factbirds themselves.

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