Project leader Operational Excellence at large Dutch vegetable cutter
In January 2018, DAPP was able to supply a project employee to a large leading fruit and vegetable processing company.
Our professional had worked in many different positions in his career. Think of process technologist, validation engineer, plant manager and technical manager. The common thing about all these functions was that they were without exception assignments in the world of the food industry. With all his experience, our candidate was the perfect match to an application that DAPP received at the end of December 2017. He was placed in the Operational Excellence department of the fresh vegetable cutting plant. The projects that run through this department are mostly OPEC in nature and aimed at achieving efficiency. Our DAPP man was immediately deployed in a project that was initiated by a disgruntled internal customer. He wasn't happy with the size of the chopped vegetables. That had to be arranged differently.
Our project leader started his assignment with a thorough investigation into the variations that were present in the line. What are the buttons that you can or must turn to get the end product that the consumer is waiting for? What variations are there and to what extent did they influence? He carried out this assignment largely independently, whereby the intervision sessions with the team leader of the vegetable line were guiding.
The result of the research was twofold: There are many factors that influence the cutting process and thus made the size of the product unpredictable and there were also uninfluenced purchasing specifications. Based on this observation, a proposal was made to build a sorting device at the end of the production line that sorts the coarse parts from the line. The captured product can be returned to the point prior to the cutting activity so that it can then pass through the cutting part again. This iteration can continue until the product has the desired diameter. As a result, failure of too large pieces is no longer an issue and, in principle, 100% of the product is processed.
Thanks to this extra sorting step, the vegetables can be delivered in any desired cut size. The client is very satisfied with the chosen solution and the associated efficiency improvement.
Our DAPP project leader has started working for our customer after two years, and after various other assignments.