Quantum offers the road to increased productivity for Field First - Label Access

Field First – Label Access, the Bristol based specialist self-adhesive label manufacturer, has never been slow on the uptake when it comes to embracing new technology. Just a few years ago the company relocated to new premises with ambitious plans for their future. They were one of the first companies in the UK to take delivery of a 10 colour Mark Andy LP3000, and have also installed state-of-the-art repro and plate-making facilities.

Now with their new factory layout, purposely designed to improve work flow and operate to Lean Manufacturing principles, Field First – Label Access have adopted the Girus system for shop floor productivity monitoring to ensure that their operation is as efficient as it can possibly be.

The Girus system uses innovative T20 touch screen machine interface units to connect each of the company's five Mark Andy presses directly onto their computer network. The T20 interface delivers job information and running parameters directly to the operator at the printing machine and then monitors every metre of material used on the job and every second of machine activity. The data collected is continuously streamed back to the production manager's office, where productivity data can be viewed in real-time or saved for reporting at a later time.

The Girus Productivity Toolkit is a suite of software tools specifically designed to analyse and report on the data collected by the Girus system. Apart from producing daily or weekly productivity reports at the click of a mouse-button, the Girus Productivity Toolkit can produce sophisticated utilisation reports indicating the major reasons for waste or lost time. Additionally a graphical utility can show trends of key performance indicators helping to home-in on inefficiency, and also enable measurement of the effectiveness of changes made to the production operation.

Andy Bishop, Operations Manager at Field First – Label Access said, "We have always tried to work as efficiently as possible, and made a conscious effort earlier this year to fine tune our operating efficiency by reducing waste and downtime. The problem I was faced with was that I had no reliable means to measure what was happening on the machines. We had used written timesheets on the shop floor for years, but with the best intentions in the world on behalf of the operators, written timesheets just were not providing the level of information I needed.

"Then I received a telephone call from Mike Young at Girus. He introduced their new system for print machine productivity monitoring, offered me an onsite demonstration and sceptically, I agreed to take a look. After just half an hour I was completely sold on the system, it was just what I was looking for.

"We installed the system earlier this year and within days were able to see really how inaccurate the written timesheets were. Using the Girus Productivity Toolkit we can now tell exactly how many linear metres of material are consumed within each job and the times involved down to the last minute, but more importantly for myself, I can actually see precisely the reasons why we have waste and lost time, and I can tell you, we are seeing some rather interesting results. Now I can see where we are inefficient I can do something about it."