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Heritage Solutions is a California-based packaging company. Located in the Bay Area, in the town of Livermore, the company has established itself as one of the packaging and printing leaders in the United States and North America. The company specializes in packaging solutions using digital printing, which is an ideal technology for creating high-quality custom and short run orders. Upon acquiring several new digital printing presses from HP, Heritage Solutions encountered a problem that greatly impacted its efficiency and profitability.
HP is one of the world leaders in manufacturing digital printing presses, so it was only fitting that Heritage Solutions would want to acquire some of the latest and greatest equipment that the manufacturer had to offer. However, upon installation, Heritage Solutions was faced with one big problem – the printing presses didn’t adapt well to the company’s current workflow. As digital printing is totally different from other, more conventional analog printing technologies, the infrastructure also needed to change on the shop floor to maximize productivity. Failure to immediately adapt resulted in efficiency issues, not to mention a feeling that Heritage Solutions wasn’t getting the return on investment that it had anticipated with lengthy lapses in productivity proving to be problematic.
In order to enhance the floor workflow, Heritage Solutions incorporated the Flexpipe system to its operations to custom-build new flow racks. The tube and joint system came as a recommendation from a consulting firm by the name of Quadrant 5, and the final flow layout drastically improved the way that Heritage’s packages were printed. A 5-step system was utilized in maximizing the flow layout for Heritage’s digital printing: the steps include analyzing a particular company’s needs based on how many machines they have, optimizing the layout to create more floor space, cleaning and prepping the area, installing the new equipment and, finally, optimizing operations so that the company was able to reach its full potential.
While these were steps that Heritage took when implementing its digital presses, the same methodology can be applied to any packaging company that’s making the transition from analog to digital printing.
Thanks to the Flexpipe system, the new floor layout proved to be a big success with Heritage Solutions once the implementation was complete. Used floor space was reduced by 25 percent and the new layout also diminished machinery halt times by almost 50 percent while allowing for much faster changeovers – up to 50 percent faster. The Flexpipe system enabled Heritage Solutions to continue to provide its customers excellent digitally printed products.
Julien is Flexpipe’s president and co-founder. He came upon lean manufacturing in 2006 and launched Flexpipe in 2010. His mission since then has been to introduce the modular system to new markets by making it affordable and accessible.