How to resolve the 8 deadly sins of Lean Manufacturing for industrial printing and coding

  • By Charles Bryan
  • February 17, 2021
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  • Specialised Solutions
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The lean manufacturing model is tried and trusted in supply chains across the world. And while these lean principles are typically applied to manufacturing at large, we can still apply use them to hone in to our to product coding and marking operations to ensure they are efficient, hassle-free, and most importantly, cost-effective.

Let’s see what we can do!

1. Defects: How do you remove Defects while boosting production?

Like any product defect, defective coding costs time and money. Money has to be spent correcting inaccurate code placement, illegible codes and coding errors. All of these issues can all result in product rejection or reworking - just as much as any production error within your process.

Plus there can even be further costs can be are incurred if incorrectly coded products make it into the supply chain. Product recalls can cost hundreds of thousands of pounds and endanger multi-million-pound contracts with buyers.

You could even be fined for inaccurate coding in Pharmaceutical, Food, and Beverage industries.

That’s why it’s so important to make sure the right code is printed onto the right product, in the right place and in the right way. Domino can help in two ways. First, our integrated QuickDesign software makes it easy to manage batch coding with templates that minimize data entry, and it can automate your print runs with a simple operator interface and a central database which limits the possibility of human error. Secondly, we offer automatic print inspection systems that help to catch coding errors – scanning each product on your line in a matter of milliseconds. These systems bring consistency, speed and accuracy to your codes, and also slash the risk of illegible codes and false rejections. When working in busy production environments, the cost of unreliable codes could reach many thousands of pounds.


2. Excess Processing: Is it possible to speed up excess code processing without losing quality?

Given the damaging consequences of coding errors, many manufacturers can become obsessive about manually checking codes during a print run. But this is a waste of both time and human resource. Human error is inevitable when it comes to checking codes. On average, human operatives produce ten mistakes for every 600 coding entries.

Mistakes are especially likely on high-speed, high volume FMCG lines. Canning lines, for example, typically run at speeds of 2,000 cans per minute. If you have a line operative checking the accuracy of a code on a can every 30 minutes, you are essentially checking one can in every 59,999. It’s unsurprising that coding errors slip through the net. Again, this can be managed with automatic print inspection which eliminates errors and allows you to redeploy human resource to other areas of your manufacturing business.

Another area where excess processing can be found is in manually monitoring the efficiency of your printer fleet. As we enter the Industry 4.0 era, we now have technology that automatically gathers data on printer performance and sends it to the cloud. Here you get a dashboard view of your printer fleet, making it easy to drive continual improvements to line efficiency.

Examples of print coding errors during manufacturing

3. Overproduction: Is it possible to cut down wasted product output?

Non-essential production processes can also obstruct the lean manufacturing model – especially when applying codes to packaging where the number of printed labels must be reconciled with the production quantity. Significant process simplification can be found by streamlining code production via the management of print runs with Industry 4.0-capable QuickDesign label design software.

In addition, our range of print and apply technologies can be fully automated and can vastly reduce the time necessary to affix labels to secondary and tertiary packaging by hand - and significantly speed up box labeling and other types of tertiary coding processes.

Our print and apply labelling systems are flexible, reliable and robust, and whether they need to affix labels to the front of individual products, on the tops of a tray, or over the corner of a bundle package, they meet all traceability, legibility and clarity requirements.

4. Waiting: How do you cut down on mechanical downtime from printers?

You know the adage - Time is money. With coding and marking, as in any other area of business, it's as true as any other saying.

Therefore, it’s essential to remove unnecessary delays from your processes. Delays could be caused by printer failures, mechanical downtime, excess scheduled maintenance and integration issues within your coding and marking infrastructure.

Domino specializes in reliable technology. We also offer a range of SafeGuard products which are designed to eliminate downtime and extend warranties on parts and labor to ensure your printer is operating at its optimal performance and safeguarding your production OEE. Monitoring your printer remotely with automated alerts and analyzing performance data can also assist in detecting and rectifying any issues before they become a problem. In the unlikely event that you need a callout, our engineers are fast to respond and will know which equipment to bring with them before they arrive.

Monitoring printer performance remotely and analysing performance data

5. Inventory: How can it help scale with today's diverse inventory requirements?

Mishaps and inefficiency can occur when you are juggling multiple print runs simultaneously. This can vastly help streamline production processes by lessening the amount of product changeovers.

Domino industrial printers and coders are mean products can pass through your production environment quickly and efficiently without backlog. Due to the flexibility offered by QuickDesign, you can even react quickly to seasonal promotions, for example, with late-stage customization of your product coding and marking.

6. Transportation: How do you optimize your plant design for coding & marking?

Consumables – such as ink cartridges – are an intrinsic part of most coding and marking technology. However, stock is normally limited to what's on-hand to avoid any expiration or unwanted use. However, if orders are improperly scheduled, they may cause a bottleneck due to “waiting” for stock as it may not be available to use when you need it next on your production line.

This presents you with a major opportunity to build efficiency into your restocking process. Domino’s SafeSupply service allows you to schedule delivery dates of genuine Domino consumables that are designed to keep your coding accurate and your printers efficient.

Best of all, we will fix the price of your consumables for up to five years, so you can budget accurately. Plus, paired with our cloud-enabled devices, we can have predictive consumable ordering to ensure that you get the right amount of consumables on-time, every time so your line is never left flat-footed.

7. Motion: How do you eliminate wasted motion?

Manufacturers can experience further inefficiencies with larger printing technology networks. Poor operational layouts can lead to issues with how products move through production lines, and this can be made worse by infrastructure that is not fully connected, so it cannot be monitored.

Here at Domino, we have extensive experience advising on how to streamline production environments for lean coding and marking operations. With our QuickDesign Unite platform, you can bring your coding and marking into complete harmony with the rest of your operation. This includes taking the language of your ERP or MES and translating it into Domino language.

The result is a connected, highly-efficient operational framework, with remote label design capability that reduces operator involvement and can send the right coding commands to any printer in your network on demand.

8. Non-Utilized Talent: How do you give your workforce the best tools possible?

It’s easy to place too much focus on process or machinery alone when it comes to isolating manufacturing inefficiencies. But it’s always important to remember the human side of your operations as well. Inadequate training can cause unnecessary delays or in the worst case scenario, stoppages on the line. As a result, mistakes can be made when staff potential is not maximized or key competencies are not developed alongside updates to machinery.

Domino’s Training Academy is designed to help to provide your staff with the technical insight they need to keep your coding and marking operations running efficiently. Training can be conducted either in person or via webinar. Either way, we can help you to make sure your staff are knowledgeable, engaged and equipped with the knowledge they need to get the best from your printing fleet.

All-new level of automation

Beyond that, our printing and coding solutions can bring a high level of automation to your site via automatic print inspection or via our Domino Cloud remote diagnostic support package that was perfected throughout 2020.

By training staff on this Industry 4.0 technology, they are empowered to assist with predicting future technology failures and downtimes, therefore working to eradicate under-utilized talent that might be unfamiliar with the efficiencies that IIoT can bring. They will also learn how to work in tandem with this technology, so they understand how to further augment its capabilities and how they can, in turn, provide better information to the system. 

A Domino Training Academy technical insights course

What's coming next?

Taking an honest look at your coding and marking operations can help you to identify inefficiencies, which in turn will allow you to save time and money while presenting an opportunity to engage and upskill your workforce.

However, that's only possible if you know how to resolve the challenges that are unique to your particular site. This is where Domino can help. Get in touch to start the conversation.

Need more information?

Contact us about our innovative and award-winning printing and marking solutions. Get in touch

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