The OpX Leadership Network can help CPGs come together an solve operational problems.

Niche food manufacturers do not always have the resources or capital to make the same purchase decisions as their larger competitors. As these smaller companies grow, it places them in the unfortunate situation of deciding what upgrades are available and what are things to target for future growth. 

The result in many cases is a need for new production and packaging equipment, but in cases where that is not an option, it has become more critical than ever that manufacturers keep up with a trained, engaged workforce utilizing current machinery to its fullest potential.

Sean Riley
Sean Riley, senior director, Media and Industry Communications, PMMI
This situation is made even more complicated by the ensuing requirements coming from the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). FSMA brings with it some of the most intensive changes to U.S. government oversight in recent memory. 

One way to determine where your machinery needs lie is to take advantage of some of the new informational tools original equipment manufacturers (OEM) have developed to create a clearer picture illustrating how a piece of equipment or new technology can improve an operation. 

In its role as the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, PMMI leverages its convening strength with the OpX Leadership Network. A dynamic community of manufacturing, engineering and operations professionals dedicated to operational excellence, The OpX Leadership Network facilitates the open dialogue between consumer packaged goods (CPG) manufacturers and OEMs. The best minds come together to identify and solve common operational challenges and apply best practices and innovative solutions to the real-world context of manufacturing.

These include a comprehensive guide to total cost of ownership (TCO) as well as an Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) Benefits Calculator. 

Few more essential factors enter into any business decision than cost, but when it comes to equipment, the purchase price is just the tip of the iceberg. This may be one of the reasons “The Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Playbook and Checklist” continues to be the OpX Leadership Network’s most downloaded report. These guidelines break down the ongoing costs that factor into the real cost of running machinery — from design and application through maintenance and environmental concern — to allow CPGs and OEMs to move the discussion beyond the price tag to focus on the TCO. 

When capital expenditures for new equipment are not something a company can do right away, the OEE Benefits Calculator and OEE Starter Tool help identify opportunities for increased efficiency on the plant floor. The OEE Starter Tool helps CPGs have a better understanding of the various factors impacting OEE, and outlines opportunities for savings in production processes while maximizing production. Companies can also download the OEE Benefits Calculator to apply these concepts to their own operations. For those looking for additional expertise to address TCO, OEE and FAT, opxleadershipnetwork.org is home to On-Demand Webinars with industry experts addressing each of these areas.

The group also provides Innovation Stage education sessions at PMMI’s Pack Expo portfolio of trade shows such as Pack Expo East, being held April 16-18, 2018, in Philadelphia. Now in its third iteration, it brings together more than 400 suppliers of packaging innovations for the packaged goods industry that serve companies of all sizes. The three-day event, spanning more than 100,000 net square feet, is an opportunity to see the latest packaging technologies and exchange ideas with 6,000 peers.