“This should be the standard”

“This should be the standard.” That was a comment an auditor made during a recent audit of the McCormick Flavor Division ( South Bend , Indiana ) of McCormick & Company, Inc. The auditor was referring to the way his supplier (the McCormick Flavor Division) presented their data for review. This customer was especially pleased with the presentation of the data, and fact that the supplier had it all available on-line in the conference room during the audit.

According to John Campbell, Quality Manager, “The auditor really appreciated how open we were with our data and our overall system. Having the system on-line and available during the audit lets him know we have nothing to hide. But just as important, we can pull the charts and data that he asks for in a few minutes. All of this adds up to a huge time saver for us – probably on the order of a couple man-days per audit.”

Like every company, customer satisfaction is important to McCormick. They make sauces, dressings and condiments for the world’s largest restaurants and fast food chains. But according to Campbell , the smooth audit is just the tip of the iceberg of the benefits the company has seen from using Hertzler’s GainSeeker Suite of products.

Reducing Material Costs

“GainSeeker has helped us reduce material costs by 10-30% on an annual basis,” says Campbell . “Of all the plants in the McCormick Flavor Division, our plant is consistently at the top of the list for efficiency of material usage, and by a substantial margin. We trace that directly back to our use of the Hertzler software.”

“One application that has generated substantial savings has been on our fill lines,” says Campbell . “Reducing overpack by as little as one tenth of a gram per line has a huge impact on our material costs. We’ve achieved reductions of up to three tenths of a gram across all our fill lines. I can’t tell you how much money that is (because it is proprietary information) but it is a big number.”

Campbell uses control charts in the GainSeeker Suite to listen to the voice of the process. As the company has learned to understand the natural variation in their process, they have been able to adjust the process so that it is closer to target fill weight. In addition the better they understand the variation in the system, the more they can do to reduce it and make the process tighter.

(See how the GainSeeker Overpack Wizard can help you determine if you can safely reduce reduce overpack or overfill.)

Another area where the company has seen substantial savings has been in the premix of materials.

Hardened data collection workstations“All too often, the variation that our designers allow us is completely arbitrary,” notes Campbell . “It has no discernible impact on the taste of the product, and it has nothing to do with what we can actually produce. Now that we understand our equipment, our customers have reset the limits to match our capability. We’re able to reduce the amount of waste because it didn’t meet an arbitrary specification. This has also given us an enormous savings.”

Of course all of these benefits wouldn’t be available if the cost of obtaining data were too high. The company uses many of GainSeeker’s automated data collection capabilities to streamline and reduce these costs.

The company continues to expand their use of GainSeeker. One of the applications on the drawing board now is to connect to temperature monitors on coolers. The company will probably use the new GainSeeker OPC Client to connect directly to the thermometers using OPC.

“We’re always looking for new ways to use GainSeeker,” notes Campbell . “It has become core to the way we do business.”


About Hertzler Systems

Hertzler Systems provides seamless, accurate data acquisition solutions for your business enterprise. We have been in this business for over 20 years. We have a large and diverse customer base in service, transactional and manufacturing environments, including Consolidated Biscuit Company, McCormick & Company, and Hormel Foods.

Our customers buy software and services from us because it is a good investment. With our assistance they can easily acquire data from any process, analyze that data in real time, and instantly notify process owners of process variation. These capabilities help them reduce costs, cycle time, errors, and defects, and increase profitability and customer satisfaction. These are our core competencies.

We turn data into knowledge.

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