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AskLDI Case Studies – food production kaizen


Food Production – Kaizen


We are a $25 billion food business company and our plant that produces dried product for industrial and food service applications.


Throughput on machine #3 has slowly reduced from 13,500 lbs. / hr. to 12,000 lbs. / hr. over a period of 3 yrs. This increased the number of days the machine must be in operation to complete the annual workload that lasts approx. 5 months. This resulted in $140,000 of additional operating costs. Several ad hoc changes to the machine have been made over the past 3 years with no measurable impact on throughput.


Using a Kaizen process, my team (Practitioner Certified) facilitated a team of Operators, Mechanics, Engineers and Supervisors to utilize problem-solving tools and techniques to restore machine #3 throughput back to 13,500 lbs./hr.  The start of the next pack season was only 3 months away, so corrective actions needed to be implemented immediately.


The Team members used the Kaizen approach with documented Kaizen sheet. The appropriate root cause analysis tools were used to attack this problem

A detailed execution plan was finalized with sign off by the Management Team.   


The Team took a GEMBA walk to fully understand and validate the function and current condition of the equipment. We then created and grouped the info into 4M Fishbone diagram. The top 5 issues in frequency were run through the 5Why analysis to identify root causes. A complete list of key issues/counter measures(using the countermeasure ladder) was generated and an action plan to close was agreed upon by the team and presented to plant management for buy in.


After completion of the action plans, machine #3 throughput reached 13,500 lb./hr. throughput. All changes were documented, visual controls were added to the equipment, a maintenance plan developed, and key operators were trained on proper set up and operation of the machine.