Amcor Flexibles is a division of Amcor Limited, a multinational manufacturing organization that is one of the world’s largest packaging companies. The organization’s main products include PET plastic containers for beverage applications, flexible packaging for the food and healthcare markets, tobacco packaging, corrugated boxes and a North American distribution business. Amcor Flexibles’ New Jersey operation, which manufactures plastic and foil laminated bags and packaging products primarily for the pharmaceutical and medical products, was established in 2003 when the company purchased Rexam in Mt Holly.
Travis Blose, Amcor’s Operations Manager and Six-Sigma Black Belt, felt that the staff needed a better statistical background (Green Belt). Blose also wanted to initiate a 5S program and enhance the company’s safety training program. Additionally, he saw the need for general computer skills training.
Upgrading the skills of its current employees would help Amcor have safer and more efficient workstations, reduce the amount of scrap and rework, improve employees’ ability to detect and eliminate the causes of defects and get key employees on the production floor Six Sigma Green belt certification.
Blose, who was familiar with NJMEP from his predecessor and had experience working with MRC (Bethlehem) while he was with another company, met with NJMEP to discuss the situation. As a result of the discussions, NJMEP put together a project plan and DOL grant application. The plan was comprehensive, consisting of Green Belt Training, OSHA training, basic Lean training and training in Microsoft Office.
Funding was approved and with the help of NJMEP and its resources the project was implemented. Four consulting companies, each bringing their unique training skills to the project, worked with Amcor employees to meet the defined objectives.
Amcor effectively trained its key employees in Six Sigma techniques. This training allowed Amcor to fine tune its process through the reduction of process variability. The application of Lean techniques further increased productivity and reduced lead-time.
Training had a very positive impact on employee morale and increased their collective skill sets. Employees are making more informed decisions, and safety awareness and compliance is much improved. In addition, project management and Lean manufacturing frame works are in place.
As a result of its work with NJMEP, Amcor realized a yearly cost savings of over $16,000 and employee retention has improved. One of the key product parameters was able to be reduced in variation by 5%, which may sound like a small amount, but in reality is a very attractive financial gain.
The increased productivity has not been fully traced and calculated, but the parameter variation reduction has allowed for less scrap, thus allowing Amcor to produce more product in the same amount of time. As for the lead times, same issue— not been fully traced and calculated however, more in the same time, thus the DIFOT (deliveries in full on time) has increased.
“Working with NJMEP has been a positive experience for all of our employees. We have gained much from this training experience and we look forward to working with NJMEP in the future. We are very appreciative to the NJMEP for providing the impetus and the resources necessary to effect the transformation of our company to a world-class manufacturing enterprise. We are also grateful to the NJ DOL and Workforce Development, for providing the funds, through a customized training grant, to support this training.” Travis Blose, Operations Manager.
Amcor Flexibles is a participant in NJMEP’s Made in New Jersey program. Click here to view their profile!