Category Archive: Contract Packing

What is Value Stream Mapping (VSM)

Value Stream MappingValue Stream Mapping (VSM) is a lean management tool used for analyzing the current state of all series of events in a process to produce a finished product from beginning to end, and then designing the most efficient series of events to provide the greatest value to that product and process.

Manufacturers use VSM which is a detailed flowchart method to identify all stages in the process typically down to seconds.  This highlights the areas where improvements can be made such as quickly identifying any waste or bottlenecks in the process.  VSM is a lean management tool that reveals downtime, inventory problems, and processing delays.

Customers care most about the value of the product or service rather than the efforts to produce it. Value Stream Mapping helps to illustrate value-added steps for manufacturers. It is an ongoing process used for continual improvement. The goal of Value Stream Mapping is simple, to eliminate waste and create the most efficient system possible, bringing the greatest value to that product’s process.

While manufacturers benefit from utilizing value stream mapping, those who benefit the most from the process are the customers. The customer experiences a better quality product through a more efficient system that ultimately meets their needs and expectations.  Additionally, by reducing waste and expense, a contract packaging company can pass on savings to their customers as efficiencies improve.

Benefits of Value Stream Mapping

Benefit #1: Reveals the Most Efficient Process

The VSM clearly labels material and information flows from order entry, purchasing, processing, quality inspections and packaging to see the entire process through from beginning to end. Value Stream Mapping originates from the perspective of the customer, with all required steps to meet product specifications clearly defined. Essentially, we want to identify the processes that add the most value to the customer’s product in the most efficient way.

Benefit #2: Identifies Waste

The VSM encompasses the processes that a product goes through from start to finish. The value stream sequence identifies waste, or an action or step that does not add value to the customer. For example, the VSM can diagnose overproduction, unnecessary motion, or excess stock as waste. A customer will not want to pay for these wastes so the VSM can help the manufacturer better their processes and add value to the customer’s project.

Benefit #3: Improves Manufacturer

Value Stream Mapping helps to align the entire manufacturing company on common goals. All aspects of the company including upper management, operations, administration, and sales want to add value to the customer’s project. This common goal helps to prioritize improving the processes because it affects each company department at some level. Ultimately, Value Stream Mapping helps the company to analyze current and future production flows for improvement. When all stakeholders are in alignment, the manufacturing company can use their findings as an example for future projects and to benefit all customers.

Peoria Production Shop strives to add value to every product we touch. We use Value Stream Mapping to help identify waste and create the most efficient systems possible. Visit our website to learn how we can add value to your next project.


Why outsource your Co-Packing & Repacking Business?

copacking and repacking businessA contract packager, co-packager, co-packer, and contract manufacturer refers to a company that manufactures and packages products for their customers, usually the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). The secondary packaging process is when various pre-packaged products are packaged together.

Co-Packing has become a competitive advantage for manufacturers. OEMs have the ability to take on large projects without the need for extra staff and equipment because they can outsource the packaging services. Companies are realizing many benefits of outsourcing co-packing and repacking for their products.

Money Saving Potential When Using a Co-Packing Company

Outsourcing allows for companies to utilize the co-packer’s existing space, technology, and staff. Also, companies can save on labor costs and overhead costs by not adding packaging staff and devoting capacity to packaging.

Contract manufacturers build relationships with raw material suppliers and other companies. These relationships allow the co-packers to provide lower costs because of their networking connections.

Peoria Production Shop has many capabilities allowing their customers a one-stop shop for all of their packaging needs. For instance, PPS has auto-labeling services, shrink sleeves, imprinting services for lot codes and expiration dates, heat sealers and more.

Co-Packers Provide Increased Efficiency 

Co-packers specialize in efficiency and have an established processes for packaging production. Peoria Production Shop uses Value Stream Mapping (VSM) to identify and eliminate waste and create the most efficient processes which provide the greatest value.

Also, co-packers like PPS provide services in other areas such as kitting, sewing, mechanical assembly, cutting, finishing and more.

Save Time With Co-Packing & Repacking Partners

 Co-packers have the ability to free up the original manufacturer’s time. Outsourcing contract packaging allows the OEM to focus on other areas like marketing and networking.

Freeing up the company’s time allows the co-packer to do what they do best. In fact, contract packagers have their own methods of quality control that can detect errors and damaged materials in addition to meeting all customer specifications.

Wider Skill Set In Outsourcing

 Outsourcing projects to a co-packer allows the original manufacturer to be involved with true professionals in the industry. Certain co-packers have certain qualifications that set them apart from competitors.

Also, contract packers work with original manufacturers to share knowledge and pass along cost savings from their proven efficient processes. For instance, contract packagers might have more skills on handling material, designing the secondary process flow, or pricing from established vendors based on previous experience.

Outsourcing to a co-packer allows for businesses to spend time and money in other areas that grow their business.  You can have confidence in Peoria Production Shop to add value to your packaging needs. Visit our website to learn more about our co-packaging capabilities.


Bradley University Engineering Students Research PPS Auto-Bagging System

Recently, a group of three Bradley University engineering students conducted a lean assessment for the auto-bagging system. The three students; Lauren Boden, Holly Korte, and Adam Heintzman met with their professor Joseph Chen at the Peoria Production Shop facility.

The team of students gathered data regarding the current process used at the facility. The process begins with receiving, goes through sorting, then to several bagging and picking. The products are then packaged and ready to be shipped out.

The students created a process flow and a process chart for the multi-bagging area. After many calculations and analyses, the team concluded there are some areas for improvement. For instance, there is an over processing of waste. During downtime, waste accumulates in the bagging areas. The students recommended a redistribution of workers when waiting.

Another issue the students discovered is the long changeover time between parts on the automatic machines. The students suggested reducing the guess and check method to speed up the processes.

Likewise, they found that there was extra movement around cupping and bagging which could potentially result in damage to the products. They recommended the two areas be combined into one cell to reduce the movement.

All in all, the Bradley engineering students proposed a Kanban system floor plan. Each area of proposed solutions would provide the company with around $98,000 in savings.

Peoria Production Shop is looking into the areas mentioned above and will act accordingly. Additionally, PPS is a company who strives to find solutions for clients so we are thankful that a local university is interested in providing services and continuing to educate students.