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Paper Manufacturing: Implementation of Shadow Boards at Tullis Russel, creating a home for tools and equipment, reducing production changeover times and fostering efficient working habits. 

About Tullis Russell

Tullis Russell is one of the world’s leading specialist paper coatings and converting companies, operating three facilities in South Korea, China and the UK. Notably, its UK facilities are situated only a stone’s throw from VMT HQ in Bollington, Cheshire. 

Interestingly approximately 60% of all the world’s stamps pass through their specialised security paper coating process at the Bollington factory.

With a significant investment in a new multi-million-pound coater, the Tullis Russell management team was keen to ensure that the processes associated with operating the coater were set at a class-leading standard.

The Problem

The Tullis Russell management team wanted to ensure that the changeover times between rolls of paper were smooth and low on time consumption.

It was identified that operators spent some time locating tooling or sorting through application tapes to find the correct specification tape. To address this, the implementation of Visual Management was proposed to organise the workplace, establishing structure and order in the storage of the equipment used to changeover rolls.

The goal was to reduce the potential for waste associated with searching for tools, equipment, or tape.

The Solution

VMT recommended the implementation of simple Shadow Boards as the most effective Visual Management solution for visually presenting the tools and equipment for efficient paper roll changeovers. Shadow boards are ideal where tools are in high daily usage (as per the roll changeover tools and tapes) as they can be positioned very close to the process.

VMT spent time with the operators to understand the equipment used during the process and frequency of use. This helped to inform the design layout presented to the Tullis Russell team. Whilst onsite VMT also obtained the tooling information required that would be digitised to create the final Shadow Board design.

The Result

Once the design of the shadow board had been created a review process with the operators was undertaken. This is an important step as it is the operators who use the Shadow Boards daily. The board must be practical to create efficient work habits. After final approval was obtained the boards were delivered ready for use – no final assembly was required as all VMT Shadow Boards leave us ready for use.

The Shadow Boards were well received by the operators (most importantly). They commented how the Shadow Boards make their life easier as they know that the tools and equipment always have a home to return to. This way of storing equipment helps to create efficient working habits as reaching for a piece of kit becomes second nature when it is always in the same position.

The Shadow Boards have also helped with achieving reduced changeover times as production on the new coater ramps up.

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