Nathalie Müller-Samson
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Nathalie Müller-Samson
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Success Story: How our InHouse experts can help to gain operational improvements

Learn about how our Process Management & Consulting team jointly worked with a customer in Mexico to drive process improvements achieving impressive efficiency gains from ink room to press.

With a view to work more data and process driven, our InHouse team has kicked off an improvement project together with one of our long-time customers in Mexico. In close collaboration with the specialist for the manufacturing and printing of shrink sleeves, our experts analyzed all processes, interactions, and correlations to date between ink room and print shop to finally determine potential areas for improvement. Hereby, all contact points between our Mexican InHouse team and the customer’s printing team were put under the microscope to establish a new systematic way and set up a robust process built on standardization and data generation.

As the planned improvement project encompassed major changes not only the customer’s team needed to be fully committed, but Siegwerk also expanded its Process Management & Consulting team by experts from IT, Sales, Technology and PSR (Product Safety & Regulations) to cover all aspects and perspectives needed to build an efficiency-driving process – with an unequivocal success:

1.    Press return ink inventory reduced by 23%
2.    Color accuracy at set-up increased to 95%
3.    Color adjustment time on press reduced by 37%
4.    Set-up material waste reduced by 50%
5.    Set-up material for new jobs decreased by 47%
6.    Introduction of washable ink supporting 100% recyclability of PET-G shrink labels

These results show the impressive operative improvements achieved in this one-year project. Today, the customer needs less ink storage as press return ink usage has increased also further reducing the needed amount of new ink supply. All in all, less capital is tied up in the customer’s ink room now. An improved color matching process, new color quality control limits and a selection of the correct equipment reservoir have further supported this positive change.

The cherry on top, was the introduction of a new ink series from Siegwerk that opens up a new circular product solution for the customer’s sleeve application portfolio. With its ink innovation called CE Unbind Solvent-based Washable, Siegwerk designed a washable ink enabling full recyclability of printed shrink labels made of crystallizable copolyester (PET-G). The ink layers can be easily removed with an alkaline solution from the printed film maintaining its high transparency level. The technology has been accredited by the Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR), the national trade association of the US plastics recycling industry, for meeting its PET bottle critical guidance. This recognition is based on the technical recyclability of the ink, only recognizing the submitted sleeve structure as meeting the most challenging test conditions and strictest guidance criteria and not necessarily the bottles using the sleeves.

“This project one more time underlined that together we can really drive change and achieve great improvements when having clear common goals,” explains Omar de Alba, InHouse specialist at Siegwerk. Even the COVID-19 pandemic did not stop the teams to reach their goal in the desired time frame. Weekly project meetings that were established to keep focus and drive, were just switched into virtual meetings keeping the collaboration between customer and Siegwerk well-organized and on track. “Customers who are open minded and ready for challenges create very strong and long-lasting partnerships,” adds Terhi Forsvall, Head of Global InHouse service at Siegwerk.

Next to On-Site Consulting and Colorwerk, InHouse is one of the three pillars of Siegwerk’s customer service solutions designed to add value to customers’ businesses. Therefore, the company’s InHouse experts assist customers in on-site ink room management ensuring its most efficient organization. With its customer service solutions, Siegwerk’s offering goes beyond ink – aiming to support customers to untap process improvements and cost savings to advance sustainable company developments.