Batch Cycle Time Improvement for Powder Coatings

Batch Cycle Time Improvement for Powder Coatings

01| Challenge

  • Need to increase the production of difficult to produce green brand paint for Industrial and Farm Equipment – very tight specifications
  • Product Sold Out – Every additional increase in capacity could be sold
  • Operations claimed facilities were bottlenecked and at limits although design capacity of extrusion appeared to suggest otherwise
  • Client was working on a design project to install new powder paint lines to expand production – Multimillion CAPEX project
  • Caravel was asked to analyze the data and determine the “entitlement” – What are the true capabilities of the existing production assets?
  • Caravel was to evaluate all aspects of the process including cycle times for all steps in the process as well as uptime and corresponding reliability programs.
  • Caravel to recommend steps to capture hidden plant.
  • Based on Design On-stream Factor was in high 50% to low 60%

02| Solution

  • Six Sigma statistical analysis, Operations Stability Analysis along with Weibull all suggested additional capacity existed within the current system.
  • Stable Operations Factors and Cycle time variability were poor
  • Larger lines within the factory had demonstrated ability to surpass current entitlement expectations by 15% or more consistently.
  • Simulation was built to understand pinch-points and bottlenecks. Extruders, the key step in the process were not the bottleneck.
  • Uptime of key equipment in the process was also evaluated.
  • Supply Chain and Production planning and its contributions to increases in changeover times were also analyzed to reduce changeover downtime.

03| Results

  • Biggest contributor to low cycle times was Feed Preparation.
  • Extruder speeds were often reduced to accommodate feed preparation
  • Simulation indicated key recommendation was to reorganize feed preparation
  • Key recommendations were also made to improve maintenance downtime and changeover times.
  • Result of reorganization, key changes moved critical pinchpoint to Extrusion
  • Overall increase in production of 28.4% with an additional 5% increase in production due to reduce changeovers and uptime.
  • Client abandoned multimillion dollar CAPEX expansion – deemed unnecessary.



(not including CAPEX project impact)


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