I was recently watching a video on YouTube about an artist who would speed paint during the halftime of various NBA games. This painter stepped up to the canvas and, while music blared in the background, threw paint at the canvas with a variety of brushes and big strokes. While watching him frantically flail at his art, the viewer would look at the canvas and wonder “What is he doing? That doesn’t look like anything.” Finally, after a minute or two, he stepped back from his jumbled art, put down his brushes and admired the piece he worked so hard to complete quickly. It looked terrible! That was until he spun the painting upside down and revealed an amazing modern rendition of Albert Einstein’s portrait done perfectly in vibrant color. What struck me was the artist’s ability to look at something from a different perspective than the viewer, and create a successful outcome. I was recently reminded of this, when we were called out on a support / service call to fix…
The customer had been struggling to achieve the required productivity out of a packaging line since the line was installed. The line took bottles of product and produced cartons of different configurations based on the product and end customer. Some cartons contained 6 bottles in a 3×2 configuration, some contained 4 in a 2×2 configuration, and some contained 3 in a 3×1 configuration. The customer was particularly concerned with the lack of production when running the 3×1 product. They had never been able to run the 3×1 product at the expected rates. For months and months this had been a serious issue that was inhibiting the production rate dramatically and jeopardizing the confidence in the decision to go down the path of a multipack fill line investment. To make matters worse, the vendor that provided the line was unable to help and threw their hands up in the air. The customer’s engineering staff threw their muscle at the problem and was able to make some improvements, but production still fell short.
Finally, the customer was desperate enough to seek outside help and as luck would have it, we had recently reached out to them and the timing was just right. The customer hired Avanceon to do an assessment of the line to determine what changes could be made, if any, to improve performance. Avanceon observed the line in operation, made some modifications while on-site and provided a list of recommendations for other improvements. The impact was immediate. Within the first hour of modification, the line was producing at a rate meeting expectations. This manifested itself in approval of the system and achieving the return on investment for the overall project. It was a great feather in Avanceon’s cap with this new customer.
So, at the end of the day, why was Avanceon able to add value in this situation and solve the problem? Was it that we had experience with packaging lines in general? To a small extent, yes. It helped to understand packaging regardless of the fact that we had never had experience packing this kind of product.
To us it came down to two key issues:
1. We came in to the problem without any preconceived assumptions about why something had to be a certain way.
2. We looked at the problem with a completely new set of eyes and yes, that means a fresh perspective.
So, like the audience of the painter, if you are not seeing the results you expect, take a step back (or flip it over) and, if that doesn’t fix it, bring someone new in to take a look. Sometimes all you need is a fresh perspective. You may just have an “Einstein” moment as well.
Image Source: Freepik