Melting marshmallow madness
Like you, the only expertise GPS had in actual marshmallows was over an open flame (with graham crackers and chocolate) or baked into treats and casseroles. And we knew that they like to stick together.
For more than 45 years, that stickiness was a major issue for our client.
Leading up to the Lean Six Sigma project, the client had consistently received 160 consumer complaints per month for marshmallow’s “clumping” in the bag. (You have to be pretty upset to dial a consumer complaint line.) And the problem wasn’t just on the consumer end. The marshmallow production line was averaging 65% OEE with high downtime and reject rate due to this sticky problem.
After 45 years, it can be tempting to throw up your hands and say, “It is what it is.” At GPS, we don’t believe any problem, however stubborn, can forever defy a solution.
Over the course of two weeks, data collection and analysis culminated in a designed experiment; critical inputs were determined and a control plan implemented to maintain optimal settings. To translate, we didn’t change the quality of the product (i.e., the solution wasn’t to coat marshmallows in Teflon); we simply improved delivery by improving the process. We can’t tell you exactly how it was accomplished (that info is proprietary). What we can tell you is:
- Immediate improvements in defect rates increased the line output by 20%.
- OEE increased to 75% and continued to improve into the lower 90% range.
- Increased efficiency totaled over $1 million in savings and a 20% capacity gain.
Most importantly, campouts with the scouts and cooking Thanksgiving dinner just got a little less stressful for a few million people. We like those results. We love moving forward.
Interested in learning more?
We can help you with a single project, a production line, your whole plant…we’re here to help you meet your quarterly and yearly operational goals. We can also share more details of this case study with you.
If you’re ready to take a giant leap forward in profit and productivity, contact GPS today.