A common theme found in production facilities today is the need to gain greater production from existing assets. O.E.E. (overall equipment effectiveness) and other metrics are being used to measure the performance of existing production lines to a level not seen in years past. As manufacturers in all packaging industries add new product lines or consolidate production facilities, system performance improvement is gaining ever increasing importance. Floor space has also become a resource that must be carefully managed and conserved.
With the propagation of new packages, many manufacturers are pressed to add additional capabilities to their production lines. Typically, as capabilities are added the O.E.E. of a line decreases. Production efficiencies are seriously impacted by the inability of diverse systems in packaging lines to constantly operate in a balanced state. Even if each piece of equipment is carefully matched to line demands, the differences in acceleration/deceleration, startup needs, loading, and micro stops create the need for sophisticated controls and buffering of product flow between production cells.