Emhart Glass: NIS "Turnkey" support services

Emhart Glass has demonstrated its technological leadership by introducing its revolutionary new NIS, an all servo electric forming machine, and packaged this new technology with a full array of “Turnkey” new support services.

As a function of the standard NIS offering, Emhart Glass takes full responsibility for the customer’s machine project; from initial project planning to operating the machine to achieve a pre-established guaranteed pack to melt productivity result. Is this just a lot of hoopla? “Not at all” says Joseph Laundry, VP Customer Services, pointing to Emhart Glass’ recent success at REXAM in Barnsley, UK.Starting in the autumn of 2000, following REXAM’s decision to purchase the new NIS machine, a project team was formed consisting of engineers from Emhart Glass and REXAM. This team, under the leadership of Terry Copsey, a senior Emhart Glass Service Engineer, developed a detailed project plan outlining the step-by-step process for the removal of REXAM’s existing IS machine and its replacement with an NIS. The plan prepared using Microsoft Project software specified all the required actions, the schedule and the responsible parties whether it be REXAM, Emhart Glass, or any number of outside third party tradesmen and contractors. According to Mr.Laundry, the “devil was in the details”. In his opinion, much of the project’s success was the direct result of sound planning done up front by those who understand the details of exactly what needed to be done.

Once the plan had been finalized and accepted, subcontracts were let with various contractors with expertise in the trades needed to do the job right the first time. From a commercial point of view, some of the contracts were handled by Emhart Glass and billed as a part of the overall project invoicing. While others were handled by REXAM using approved companies who had done other work at the plant on previous projects.

Starting just before Christmas, with the on-time delivery of the NIS from Emhart Glass’ factory in Sundsvall, Sweden, a team decommissioned the existing IS machine and prepared the floor support for the NIS machine which was positioned and readied for commissioning at the start of the new year (2001). Working on a 10 hour per day, 7 day per week timetable, the machine was fully commissioned and ready for startup in 24 working days. This included the installation of the new utility sub-systems and other support structure unique to the NIS.

From installation and commissioning, the team moved to startup and operation. The goal was to achieve a pack to melt ratio of 88%. At this point, Emhart Glass’ team was complemented to include a professional bottlemaker to provide production support and operated around the clock, 24X7. Working together with REXAM’s operators, Emhart Glass supervised the running of the machine until the desired productivity results were achieved. In that this was only the second NIS ever installed, the team coordinated with Emhart Glass’ RD&E and Manufacturing groups to make a number of improvements both in hardware and software. These changes correcting both design issues and accommodated enhancements requested by the REXAM.

In March 2001, with the targeted pack to melt achieved and staff trained, REXAM assumed responsibility for the on-going operation of the machine. To ensure a continuing technical support and to help optimize the performance of the machine, Emhart Glass shifted gears and entered into a Technical Service Program, including a Resident Service Engineer. In this phase, a NIS Specialist remained on site for a period of 12 months to support the customer’s staff in the on-going maintenance and operation of the NIS machine. In addition to providing technical support and acting as a window to Emhart Glass as a whole, the NIS Specialist together with the Emhart Glass RD&E group provided regular reporting on operation, reliability, preventive maintenance, and the overall history of the NIS. In addition to an on site presence 5 days per week, 52 weeks per year, a call out feature allows for coverage on a 24X7 basis.

Not mentioned earlier, but integral to the overall success of the project, was an intensive training program developed to educate the REXAM team on the NIS, and the TNIS, its forming control system. Prior to delivery of the machine, a select group of REXAM engineers and operators attended formal classes both in Germany and the UK at Emhart Glass’ facilities in Neuss and Doncaster respectively. Besides classroom lectures, students performed laboratory exercises on a single section trainer. Using proven training techniques, the staff was quickly introduced to the new technology and schooled in the procedures used to operate and maintain it. This schooling was further refined with a regimen of on-the-job training conducted during the initial start up and production support phase. Students who successfully completed the training were awarded Certificates of Completion and certified to work on the NIS and its support systems. According to Tom Steele, REXAM’s Training Manager, the program was well received and rated highly both by the students who attended it and the management who evaluated the course for effectiveness.

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