Case studies | Quality management | Tasks & checklists

Factory eliminates paperwork


By on 15/05/2017

Now, production workers are participating in the digitisation at the RPC Superfos plant in Randers in Denmark. Together with Gluu, RPC Superfos is making business processes, work instructions, tasks and forms easily accessible to all employees via regular Android tablets.

As one of the first manufacturers in Denmark, RPC Superfos in Randers has made digitalisation up close and personal for employees on the factory floor. In an ambitious effort with Gluu, RPC Superfos is eliminating cumbersome paper procedures, moving checklists and work instructions out to the factory workers’ tablets instead. Thus, the partnership with Gluu ensures that all employees, regardless of title, join the Lean journey at RPC Superfos.

“With the Gluu platform, we are able to find new improvement opportunities, as it is easier to understand and optimize our cross-functional processes from initial order taking all the way through to production. At the same time, Gluu makes it possible for our own employees to digitize our paper forms via a simple form builder. We see big time savings by not having to handle our record keeping on paper anymore. Our registrations happen inside the app now.”

explains Jakob Lund, factory manager at RPC Superfos in Randers.

The Gluu platform is based on the concept of creating an internal community around each company process, thus involving production workers more closely in both executing and streamlining processes. The agreement of January 2017 with RPC Superfos in Randers is a break-through for Gluu when it comes to manufacturing plants.

Another stop on the journey towards becoming leaner

In the Fall of 2016, the RPC Superfos plant in Randers started an ambitious Lean journey. In collaboration with the Danish Industry Association, a large number of employees have been trained in Lean tools in order to minimise waste in the factory and increase competitiveness.

In collaboration with Gluu, RPC Superfos in Randers is one of the first industrial companies in Denmark to take the step to digitalise and consolidate all processes in the company completely around Lean and process optimisation. Søren Pommer, Managing Director of Gluu, says…

“It’s nothing new that a form can be digitalised. You can always get a developer to do that. Gluu allows you to bridge the gap between the relatively few employees that work with defining processes and the many employees working within the process. In this way, Gluu links strategy and execution more closely. The platform requires no IT-knowledge aside from being able to use a smartphone or tablet. Therefore, we see that process improvements often happen by themselves – simply by giving the people that do the work the right tools,”

And it pays to incorporate new digital tools in the work of optimisation and execution both in the short and long run, explains factory manager Jakob Lund:

“International studies[1] indicate that a paper form typically costs about $5 more than a digital form, every time it is filled out. To this must be added the subsequent handling and archiving of paper. According to our calculations, just 300 fewer paper forms a month pays for our full investment in the Gluu platform. This is in addition to all the other improvements we are implementing as a result of this.”,

Digital handling leads to fewer errors

At the same time, cumbersome and slow procedures on paper are more likely to lead to errors, according to Quality Manager in RPC Superfos in Randers, Casper Bendtzen.

“If a mistake is made during the night, the Quality Assurance specialist needs to know about the it immediately when he or she shows up for work in the morning. Here, the traditional procedures are simply too slow. With Gluu it happens in real time, so the error is visible for everyone immediately. That way our employees, e.g. cleaning staff in the factory, only need to deal with the task and form visible on their smartphone, and they may even have a concrete video guide at hand. This decreases the risk of errors”.

 


RPC Superfos is a division of RPC Group and one of Europe’s largest manufacturers of high-quality injection-moulded and thermoformed plastic packaging for food and non-food. RPC Superfos is headquartered in Denmark and has a total of 2,300 employees and 15 factories in Europe and the United States with an annual revenue in excess of €525M. At the factory in Randers, 180 employees work in 5 shifts.


[1] AIIM Research, Process-Critical Forms and the Mobile Workforce, 2012

 

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