Alert: Packaging World now enhanced for the iPad and iPhone. Watch a quick video preview
 
Download this free, 128-page Primary Packaging Line Equipment Playbook jam-packed with strategies for success, best practices, and pitfalls to avoid.  Learn more >>
 
Article |

Engineering software quickens product launch

Mary Kay Inc., the Dallas-based global direct-selling manufacturer of skin care and beauty products, is implementing Design-Expert® mathematical software from Stat-Ease (Minneapolis, MN) to help avoid product launch delays and unnecessary rework costs.
Print Reprint
FILED IN:  Machinery  > Filling/sealing  > Capping
     

The 8-oz body wash shown here in a polyethylene terephthalate bottle with polypropylene dispensing closure was the first product to benefit from the new software. “As we moved toward launch” says Renee Wickham quality assurance director “we questioned the ability of the in-line capper to deliver a precise amount of torque when rotating the cap onto the bottle. If the amount of torque applied fell below four inch-pounds the result would be a leaky package. But torque greater than 10 inch-pounds would scuff the cap.”

Wickham and colleagues used Design-Expert software to pinpoint the optimum torque. The software is an alternative to more traditional OFAT testing or “one-factor-at-a-time” testing where other factors remain constant while a single factor is tested. Design-Expert systematically provided information about how interconnected factors—spindle speed conveyor speed cap placement product residue—affect torque. This information is in the form of algebraic equations that serve as models to predict the results for any given combination of factor values.

“Identifying ideal capping torque ranges would have been nearly unattainable using the antiquated OFAT method of testing” says Wickham. “Besides OFAT just doesn’t provide statistically precise test methods nor can it reveal important factor interaction information. Design-Expert is far more effective.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The five key factors analyzed by the software program were cap placement product residue conveyor speed spindle speed and gripper belt speed. The Design-Expert software statistically determined that the three factors having the greatest influence on torque were spindle speed conveyor belt speed and gripper belt speed. It also helped determine a setting for each that would consistently yield an optimum torque. Most important it did all this in a day or two.

“Had we used OFAT experimentation we would have wasted days or weeks” says Wickham.

“This technique” she continues “gives us an accurate and economical method of determining the fundamental cause-and-effect relationships of multiple factors in a given process. We saved at least $100 by eliminating rework and replacement costs in this one application alone and we now have a new tool to help us avoid delays in product launches in the future.”

Comments(0)

Add new comment

E-BOOK SPECIAL REPORT
42 Best Package Designs
Sign up to receive timely updates from our editors and download this e-book consisting of our editors' picks of most notable package designs. Updated for 2014!
x

Newsletters

Don't miss intelligence crucial to your job and business!
Click on any newsletter to view a sample. Enter your email address below to sign up!
GENERAL INTEREST
PACKAGE DESIGN/DEVELOPMENT
Each newsletter ranges in frequency from once per month to a few times per month at most.