One of the reasons Clear View Bag chose the PCMC Fusion C series press is because of the amazing company that provides and services the press. PCMC is a domestic company located right here in the United States in Green Bay Wisconsin. PCMC in the past year have been regulars coming into our plant to service the machine and teach our operators more efficient tactics to enhance our usage of the press. One of the great features that PCMC offers with their presses is the option to engage in a training program known as the “Grow More” program which focuses on lean manufacturing and teamwork. A team from PCMC came to our plant the week of July 16th to work with a team of Clear View employees consisting of members from all different departments within our plant. PCMC refers to this as a “Kaizen Event”. Kaizen is a Japanese word which means continuous improvement. Kaizen can be applied to all aspects of our process within our plant.

The Kaizen event consisted of a joint team effort between the team from PCMC and our team here at CVB. Together, the joint team worked to analyze what was slowing our press set up down and what was creating scrap material at the press. The goal determined at the beginning of the week was to reduce press set up time and reduce the level of scrap produced. In just four days the team was able to reduce our set time in half while reducing scrap production by 16%! Team members worked together to brainstorm solutions and then applied these solutions to running the press.

One activity the group participated in was setting up a camera at the press to see how and where the operators moved around the machine to set the press up. Our operators were able to see firsthand what kinds of things are slowing them down while working at the press. The team was able to change the location of certain things like ink canisters and raw material to ensure a faster set up time. Another interesting activity the team participated in was tracking their movements around the press on a diagram. One team member would follow another around the press and track their movements in a line on a diagram of the press. This would show how often the operators were cycling around the machine. The team took this information and was able to organize the work station around the press better.

One of the more memorable moments of the week was when the press operators got a chance to present their findings at the end of the week. Our operators said that coming into the week they felt as if they could not run the machine any faster or more efficiently, however after just the first day of training the operators saw numerous different ways to change how they ran the machines to become more efficient. The Kaizen event did more however than just enhance our operational practices, our team members became more energized and motivated to work. The event helped instill a greater sense of pride within our operators. One operator even admitted to waking up and being excited to come into work in the mornings after going through the Kaizen event. Our operations leader Todd Romer said, “The Kaizen event with PCMC was by far the best training we have ever received. The event has energized and motivated our entire team”. From the top down, our employees felt a sense of pride in the work they do every day and they now strive to better our process.

One of the main themes of lean manufacturing and the “Grow More” program was to always improve and seek ways to improve. The Kaizen event allowed every voice in the team to share and have their ideas on improvement be heard. Our team brainstormed over 150 ways they felt they could improve after partaking in the exercises during the program. The Kaizen event not only helped CVB become more efficient with the new press and our overall process, but the event also brought our employees together and helped strengthen the family bond we try to promote everyday at the plant.

Clear View would like to send a special thank you to the folks at PCMC for creating this program. We would especially like to thank Craig Compton, Doreen Deprey, Kurt Schlichting, Sean Burns, and Chris Franklin for coming to Albany to join our team for the week. We would also like to thank our team of dedicated employees who participated in the training. Thank you to Todd Romer, Brian Goodman, Nick Sherman, Mark Stewart, Joe Lindstead, Len Smith, Rich Hines, Dave Miller, Lloyd Taylor, George Benoit, and Brett Granfors.

Written by David Pugliese