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Down gauging

Case Studies

Some of the most simple cost savings are downgauging the simplest films. Many companies utilise the same material for many years because "it works" when more cost effective and higher performance alternatives are available.

Brief Summary

A large UK single site plant bakery used approximately 100 tonnes of 25 micron coex OPP (unprinted) for packing a variety of bread and morning goods products per annum. The majority of the products were flow wrapped and then boxed in printed cartons.

It therefore seemed a natural solution to downgauge the film to 20 micron to deliver significant cost and packaging weight savings.

However there was some resistance from the operators as thinner film had been trialled unsuccesfully 10-15 years previously and been found to "snap" at the wider widths. The advances in film technology and extrusion over recent years has meant for example that the tensile strength of 20 micron is much improved.

So with our technical engineer on site for support 20 micron OPP was trialled succesfully on all machines and widths and confidence in the material was accomplished by the operators.

The total savings in volume over a yearly period were 20 tonnes of film, i.e. 20% of their yearly usage.

There were the obvious significant cost savings associated with their reduction but also additional productivity savings which affected the operators.

Due to more meterage per reel on the thinner film the changeovers on the lines were reduced by some 25%.

The conclusion therefore was that even small changes can have long term beneficial effects reducing costs, improving productivity and lessening waste. 

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