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I have used this method of improving settings for packaging line equipment but can also be applied to most equipment where that piece of equipment can be affected by movement.

The example here was on a filling line where a 20 litre can was being filled with vegetable oil on a 6 filler head rotary table. It was common for maintenance to be called to the unit and restore to operation only to be called back a short time later to investigate another issue.

First step is to identify the "variables" or how many particular settings could affect the equipment if not set up accurately within the correct tolerances.

The second step was to "control" each of those variables to ensure that all settings could be measured against a reference and then secured properly in place. In the case of the filler we identified 14 variables of which only half were controlled. Once we had set all our controls in place not only had reliability and uptime increased significantly but the production operator now had the ability to fault find themselves to determine if the equipment settings had moved from the reference settings.

Reader tip submitted by Ken Robertson, Asset Manager, UGL Services, South Melbourne Australia

Thanks Ken - we have made a $10 donation to the Harry Chapin Food Bank on your behalf.

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