Experts in process engineering and process efficiency
With years of experience conducting numerous projects, the team at Abstel-Glyde have accumulated a large amount of knowledge about process engineering, and how to maximise efficiency. As experienced process engineering consultants, we can help you make your process more streamlined and economical, saving you and your business time and money. Learn how to work smarter – not harder – when you call us today!
Process and manufacturing - previous experience
Animal Vaccine facility, Design, Procurement and Implementation of a Greenfield site Vaccine processing facility. Design and supervision of associated Utilities and Electrical Services, Instrumentation and Control systems. Compliance with UK MAF, US FDA, MAF standards required ($40m).
Utilities Building Construction, Relocation and development of Utilities building including Steam, Air and Water Services to Process facility.
Design, drawing, construction and commissioning of a number of industrial gas facilities.
Full design of process, mechanical, electrical, structural, ventilation and operating systems for a number of decorative processing facilities.
Metal Processing Complex The Engineering and Civil/Structural design detailing and Project Management for a continuous metal recycling facility. Plant included a Rotary furnace, recycled metal handling equipment and Heavy metal extraction from the exit gas stream. The project included a full Environmental Audit and Resource Management consents and new Tilt Slab building.
Technology and operation strategies
The manufacturing operation is a collection of different functions designed to transform raw inputs through a process mechanism into value added products to satisfy a market need. At the highest level Management develop a Strategic Plan with the typical requirement to create added value or profit for the stake and shareholders in the industry.
This Strategic Plan, must spread right throughout the organisation and all significant decisions should have a minimum and rapid input from ALL areas in the organisation. Traditional company structures divide the collections of differing functions into areas of expertise such as Marketing, Production, Financial, Technical, Procurement and Administration and arm these with collections of Key Performance indicators and other useful mechanisms to ensure compliance on an annual basis. However, these collection of differing functions should all have specific strategies consistent with the overall strategies of the firm and these strategies shall inter-relate and be understood by differing business functions. In particular Production, Technical and Marketing strategies should all be congruent. Any strategic business unit of a company should operate in the context of its existing corporate resources, the general and competitive industry environment and the specific corporate goals of the company and in particular ensure that all of the areas within the corporate structure are included in the development of ongoing strategies.
In any area that a manufacturer chooses to compete is a set of specific market based criteria for success which can be loosely termed as consisting of requirements for:
- Efficiency: minimizing the use of scarce resources whilst maintaining high outputs to produce a cost advantage
- Effectiveness: the ability to meet specific criteria such as delivery schedules and technical capability
- Quality: the degree to which the product meets customer expectations (not necessarily the rigorous adherence to a pre-determined paper trail) and
- Flexibility: the capability to change as business conditions change
Of course this Engineering or Scientific approach to job design is not the only issue to be considered. The Process job times are not only a function of Machine capabilities but also a result of the Operator/Machine interface. For this reason, the “Behavioural dimensions” of Job design must also be considered. Where the job is especially repetitive or boring can affect the overall Manufacturing efficiency. The following techniques can be employed to reduce Production times and raise overall Production capacity:
Job RotationWhere undesirable aspects of a job cannot easily be removed and/or a specific Operator skill becomes crucial to the success of a Product, Job rotation may be appropriate
Job EnlargementIn typical mass production operations, where job dissatisfaction is evident due to too simplified tasks, enlarging the jobs through adding additional tasks or stimulation should be considered
Job EnrichmentThis is a vertical shift in job enlargement where managerial tasks are added to improve motivation.
Job redesign and Employee ParticipationRecent research has suggested that core dimensions of Jobs can be redesigned to improve employee performance. These dimensions include variety, identity, significance, autonomy and feedback mechanisms of the task. Recent statistical feedback techniques used by industry are an example of this type of mechanism.
Work measurement and job design
A major Food Manufacturer prepares and processes powder blends in a simple format with a separate pre-blend of minor components (Cpt A) being loaded into a Pre-hopper prior to the major component (Cpt B) being added to the final Mixing-hopper. The minor component was then added to the Mixing hopper and the components blended to make the final product.
A recommendation had been prepared for an uprating of the major component (Cpt B) transport system at some considerable expense as a means of uprating the front end plant capacity.
Following some discussion, Production personnel prepared a simple “Activity chart” with results as follows:
Rearranging the above process into simple unit functions through a “Flow diagram” it became apparent that the “Major component to Pre-hopper” was NOT the “Rate Limiting Step” and so while altering the “Major component transport system” would be of some assistance there were more cost effective and simpler methods for increasing the Process throughout.
A change to shorten the QC time to a localised Operator test reduces the elapsed time to 6 minutes at a minimal cost and alteration to the Cpt A loading system to match the Cpt B load rate with concurrent loading almost halved the Process cycle period. These changes were at almost a quarter of the cost than the original proposal.
This case is not isolated and it is often worthwhile to use “Process simulation” and Work measurement techniques to understand your current Manufacturing Process and the effect of changes prior to the “BIG CAPITAL” decisions.