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3 Tips to Reduce Manufacturing Waste

June Manufacturing Waste

By: Robert Martin, CAFS, Associate Category Manager, Kimberly-Clark Professional Filtration  |   06.24.16

Is your manufacturing process as cost-efficient as it could be? If you look closely enough, the answer is probably “no.” Waste is common in the filter manufacturing industry and can cost you money and even customers in the long run. 

Kimberly-Clark has been in the business of manufacturing for more than 144 years. Our expertise in lean manufacturing, coupled with our experience in nonwovens means we know what it takes to manufacture products with excellence. Here are three ways you can reduce waste, improve manufacturing performance and increase your bottom line. 

Match the length, width and diameter of your filter media roll to your machine set-up. Filter media is a significant part of the cost to manufacture a filter. Manufacturers can save time and money, as well as reduce the amount of scrap material sent to landfill, by optimizing filter media thickness as well as the length, width and diameter of the filter media roll and running it down to its core. The ability to handle longer rolls will also save time and costs associated with roll changes. If your machine does not accommodate longer rolls, it may be prudent to purchase an adaptor that allows you to do so. 

Invest in proper equipment. Saving a bit in capital expenditures can end up being penny wise but pound foolish. For example, we’ve seen manufacturers try to save money by purchasing a sub-par hot melter, only to find it does a poor job controlling glue application, leading to significant waste. Another example is web control, where insufficient investment can lead to extra trim scrap when stitching pocket filters. Be sure to check glue coaters for die cuts so that normal wear in the applicator roll doesn’t impact glue usage. And take advantage of the latest sensor technology, which can detect thread breakage and hot melt interruptions. These sensors can shut the machine down and tell you where the problem occurred. 

Insist on quality filter media. Defective filter media can lead to waste and downtime associated with removing the defective material from the manufacturing process and reworking the run. For example, hard spots in the media can stop the pleating machine mid-process. At Kimberly-Clark, we deliver a highly uniform product thanks to our highly automated manufacturing, superior control and processing plans, and stringent statistical quality controls. Remember, there is a difference between scrap and usage loss. Be sure to track both accurately. 

When choosing a filter media supplier for your next filter, consider one that can help you identify and address the issues listed above. At Kimberly-Clark Professional* Filtration, we work closely with our customers to help you optimize your converting and manufacturing process in a number of ways: 

  • Conducting a “Waste Walk” or site analysis to identify the root causes of waste and inefficiency in your operation.
  • Customizing filter media attributes such as tensile strength and roll length and diameter so that the media is matched as best as possible to your specific converting machinery and processes as well as to the desired performance attributes of your finished filter.
  • Qualifying your machines to run our filter media and helping you determine exactly what is needed to move from start-up to full production runs.

If you’re experiencing waste or delay in your filtration converting process, contact Kimberly-Clark Professional* Filtration and let us help you become leaner and more productive. Our on-time, in-full delivery and short lead times can help you manage your working capital and keep an efficient stocking level. Call us today at 1-800-241-3146.


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