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Make collaboration a 2010 theme

A newly developed lubricating material greatly reduces time spent on maintaining blow molds at Nestlé Water. A close buyer/supplier partnership made it possible.

Why not make buyer/supplier partnerships a top priority for the brand new year? So much good comes from this united-front approach.

I saw numerous examples of this in my recent swing through two fascinating beverage operations in France, and I’ll be reporting on them in upcoming issues of Packaging World. But just this morning yet another example hit my laptop in the form of a press release from Sidel. It described significant savings in time spent on mold maintenance at Nestlé Waters Est France thanks to the development of something called Kohlox. It’s a self-lubricating composite material for studs and wear rings involved in blow molding machinery. Nestlé’s use of this material shaves two minutes of weekly maintenance time per mold.

“This significant time gain allows us to produce more or to perform other maintenance operations,” says Regis Leclerc, technical coordinator for Nestlé Waters. “That’s quite considerable if this technology is extended to all of Nestlé Waters’ blow molders running at full capacity.”

Additional gains were made in improving mold cleanliness by eliminating the possibility of grease splashes or deposits, which can be sources of persistent dirt. But here’s the part I like, the part that underscores how terribly important buyer/supplier partnerships can be in the business of packaging: “This project has been successfully completed thanks to an excellent collaboration with Sidel, whose staff has been present at our site to monitor the performance of the Kohlox parts,” says Leclerc.

Learn from the Nestlé/Sidel collaboration. Don’t let 2010 slip past without taking a serious look at opportunities for working in a mutually advantageous partnership with some of your suppliers.

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