Customer Case Vezet

Fresh food processing company Royal Vezet explains why they chose for OEE Toolkit

“Enormous cost savings with OEE at food processing company​ Royal Vezet”

Improve production process through efficient use of machines

‘The goal is not to run as fast as possible, but to have as little downtime as possible,’ according to Vezet’s production manager of the Convenience Meals department.

OEE Is the Communication Tool Between Operator and Management

Fresh food processing company Royal Vezet Increases OEE by More Than 60%

Fruit, vegetable, and fresh food processing company Vezet has been able to increase its Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) by more than sixty percent in recent years. The OEE Toolkit software is an important tool in achieving this growth. ‘Running as fast as possible used to be the most important thing. Nowadays, as little downtime as possible is more important,’ says Wobbe Feenstra, production manager in the Convenience Meals department at Koninklijke Vezet. “If you have little downtime – and run at a high enough speed with the right staff of course – you score well on the Overall Equipment Effectiveness. This OEE is leading in our operational management. By continuing to improve it, we have grown over 60 percent in the last five years.’

Processing 1.5 Million Kilos of Raw Materials Into Daily Fresh Products Every Day

1.5 Million kilos of raw materials, mainly vegetables and fruit, arrive at Vezet every day and leave the factory a short time later in some 250 different daily fresh products. These include meal salads, ready-to-eat convenience vegetables, fruit salads, and fresh pizzas. A continuous flow of products, processed and packaged seven days a week. With large quantities like these, OEE is an important metric to determine how efficiently a company is operating. A 1% higher OEE can already result in huge cost savings.

Measuring the OEE properly is the first step to improvement. It makes hidden losses visible, such as unplanned stops and long set-up times. Once the losses are known, a company can make plans to reduce them.

OEE Toolkit Is the Measurement Tool for Production Losses

The OEE Toolkit is a measurement tool that provides insight into production losses. The software collects data from machines, production lines, and processes by monitoring the 3 measurable components: time, speed, and quality. Each component refers to specific aspects of the process that can be improved.

‘We focus on developing OEE software that collects and analyzes production data. The improvement process that comes after this is carried out by our Continuous Improvement partners,’ emphasizes Max Marinissen, managing director of FullFact. ‘They are specialized in this. We give workshops explaining the value of OEE and provide training to operators and management.’

‘That’s the beauty of FullFact,’ says Vezet’s production manager Feenstra. ‘They limit themselves to the tool in their production environment. That tool provides us with the language in which we speak. There are other specialists who help us with optimization.’

Reports Pinpoint Problems and Where Things Are Going Well

On the wall of the office are various A4 sheets with tables that provide insight into the OEE in the department. At a glance, you can see where the pain points are and where things are going well. ‘There was a disruption in the process here in the morning of week 41. It may have been due to a shift change, a machine malfunction, too long a shift change, or a problem with the supply of the components. We can then delve deeper into that and immediately see exactly what the deviation is and start looking for the cause of it.’

The operator is responsible for entering a line standstill. If a line is stopped for more than 45 seconds, the operator must enter a code for the type of stop. This is done on touchscreens at the machines.

‘The acceptance of the OEE measurement system on the shop floor is high,’ says Feenstra. ‘Operators quickly understand how the program works. It is very graphic. And the operators also see the benefit of the system, because ultimately they all want to run smoothly. They are not waiting for output to be too low. So it’s good to be able to see where things are going wrong. ‘

Changeover Like a Formula 1 Pit Stop

Fresh food processing company Vezet has been able to considerably reduce its changeover times by looking closely at the utilization of the lines. ‘If there are two lines that are continuously switching back and forth, we deploy one extra operator. When line 1 is running, that extra person prepares line 2 completely. When line 1 is ready, it’s just a matter of flipping the switch and line 2 can start running immediately. We call that hopping. It’s similar to Formula 1, where at a pit stop they have a lot to do at once and no one is waiting.’

Vezet has also been able to shorten downtime by bringing the technical department closer to production and the quality of the incoming goods flow has been improved by close consultation with purchasing and suppliers. ‘If, for example, a cup of dressing leaks, you have to clean the entire installation, especially with allergens. That takes a lot of time. Combating contamination in food processing companies is an important issue.’

The OEE Goal Is to Remain Structurally Above 70 Percent OEE

‘The OEE can still be increased by a few percent, but now it will be in smaller steps,’ expects Vezet’s production manager. ‘Especially with the delivery of raw materials there is still room for improvement and we could automate some processes even more. The goal is to achieve a structural OEE of more than 70 percent. The standardization of meals is another option. Compare it with the platform strategy that Volkswagen applies to its brands. For certain products we could produce different varieties from a certain basis. Although it remains difficult when you have to deal with so many variants. Reducing changeover times remains the most important factor for further improving OEE.’

About Royal Vezet

Royal Vezet and FullFact have been working together since 2014

Royal Vezet is Europe’s largest fresh food company. Their convenience products help Dutch consumers to make healthy choices every day. Examples of their products are pre-cut vegetables, sliced fruit, salads and pizzas.


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