Taken from the archives...
The effect of WW2
In the late 40's as a consequence of the war the consumer need in Europe was bigger than the capacity. Everything that was produced was sold which led to massproduction systems in both Europe and North America. The automobile industry in particular built factories for production of long series to last for many years.
Due to the events of history there was however one exception, Sweden was at the time only farming and process/smoke stack industry. The coalition governement that had been inplace during the war, realised that for Sweden to have any place in the future industrial world it had to quickly change over to a flexible industry that could cope with quick changes and short series. Sweden simply didn't have a market for massproduces products.
So , in fact Swedish indiustry went lean 50 years ago.
What does the packaging industry have to do with Lean Manufacturing
JUST IN TIME
When Juran formed his Just In Time principles it was by studying the supermarkets and how they handled the problem to always keep the shelfes full. He then transformed these ideas into the automotive industry.
Another issue in packaging is the production speed. In packaging we don't talk about cycletimes in seconds or minutes, we talk about packages per minute from 60 up to 300!
At thoose speeds, there is no room for buffers and no room for anything less than 100% up-time. Any type of changed routing must be made on the fly and it can only be done if crossing paths are done at different levels.
How the packaging industry effected EWAB's development
During the 70's EWAB made applications within
Bottleproduction where speeds was extremely high (200-300 per minute) requiring extreme reliability while routing the flow to different packaging machines.
Vaccum packed coffe production where cause and effect of bottlenecks where devastating. Correct implementation of constraint theories led to 25 % productivity improvements and reducing the need for filling machines with the same amount while reducing the amount of scrap to a fraction of what is was caused by continuous stoppage in the filling machines.
Paint can filling where batching and routing was a big challange, often built in old buildings and on several floors.
Many other areas with different combinations of high speed, routing and batching.
How the Swedish lean industry effected EWAB's development
For 20 years during the 70's and 80's the majority fo what EWAB delivered was for an industry that had been devoted to what today is called lean manufacturing for more than 30 years. Therefor it have been with great intrest that we have studied how lean manufactruing appears as something new in the massproducing world.