New Tool: ProSource
Checkout our packaging and processing solutions finder, ProSource.
Start Your Search

Portable tool good at pinpointing packaging line constraints

Garvey is in the business of providing buffers and accumulation tables that help address line constraint problems in packaging lines. Now it has a whole new tool to use in line analysis.

The LEANTrak tool has become useful in deciding where accumulation systems like this need to be placed.
The LEANTrak tool has become useful in deciding where accumulation systems like this need to be placed.

Garvey Corp. is an established supplier of conveyor and accumulation solutions that have helped companies all over the world to maximize production and improve throughput. An essential prerequisite in any such solution is a good understanding of where constraints exist in a line and an equally clear understanding of what is causing them. Recently Garvey began using a new tool from Parsec Automation Corp. that helps tremendously in gaining such information automatically.

The tool is called LEANTrak™. A portable package that can be rapidly deployed without installation, wiring, programming, infrastructure changes, or production disruption, it lets Garvey collect accurate line stoppage and productivity data in real time. It also offers a number of metrics that expose and rank opportunities for efficiency improvement. LEANTrak consists of the following:

• A rugged notebook PC that resists drops and shocks and is spill resistant

• SENSORTrak™ wireless data collector

• Set of photoelectric sensors and cables with quick disconnect

• Rugged, wheeled, carry case that is dust and water tight

“We can set it up right in front of or right after just about any packaging machine in the line,” says Garvey Sales Engineer Mike Somers. “Recently we put it right after a labeler. The LEANTrak photo cell sensor counts bottles going by, and if something hasn’t gone by for awhile, there must be a stoppage. So it records that stoppage and sets off an alarm so that an operator can enter the reason for the stoppage on the LEANTrak notebook PC. It’s not like we couldn’t get this kind of data in the past, but it was more typically done by a guy with a clipboard. This is more modern, more automated, and more accurate. You just press a button and up comes a dashboard where you can see what’s going on.”

According to Somers, one of the things that is especially useful is that this tool differentiates between when a labeler, for example, is down itself and when it is down because it is blocked or starved due to machines that are down upstream or downstream. “This is the kind of thing we’re trying to track,” says Somers. “We want to say to the customer, ‘You lost productivity here at the labeler but it was because of other machines having problems downstream. If you had an accumulator here, you could have kept the labeler running, because it was fully capable of running.’”

Parsec’s Catherine Gutierrez says smart manufacturing is at the heart of LEANTrak. “End users should be free to understand exactly what they are producing in real time, and LEANTrak provides this insight. As a specific application of TrakSYS MES/MOM software, LEANTrak is dedicated to providing OEE and downtime details on the line. Using sensors, LEANTrak can detect throughput and stoppage information. This data is then fed into rules and tables within the software to supply end users with accurate line performance.”

Garvey President Tom Garvey Likes the portability of LEANTrak and the reports it produces. “At the end of the day we get an exact efficiency number pinpointing how many minutes a machine was down, how many stoppages there were, and how long each one took. So instead of estimates we’re using actual data. And we can move it around to different machines on the line if we’re not sure where the constraint is and get nice clean reports. Fantastic information, with nice graphs and charts.”

Discover Our Content Hub
Access Packaging World's free educational content library!
Unlock Learning Here
Discover Our Content Hub
Test Your Smarts
Take Packaging World's sustainability quiz to prove your knowledge!
Take Quiz
Test Your Smarts