Concurrent engineering of product and process
Concurrent Engineering (CE) or the parallel development method is currently applied to shorten the market introduction time of a new product. Besides the shorter development process, the quality of the product can also be assured in an early stage and the total costs of the developments can be lowered. Also, by parrallel development attention can be paid to aspects like energy saving, TCO, and cradle-to-cradle reusablity at the end of the product life cycle.
Essential for a good CE process are an optimum cooperation, openness between all team members and an open and innovative approach.
Lightweight Containers conquers the world with a recyclable beer keg
More than eight years ago, Lightweight Containers developed the first recyclable beer keg. With equal qualities as a metal keg, but with big advantages for brewers, distributors and end users.
After this, a whole generation of containers with advanced characteristics has been developed. The production line to produce the kegs has been developed in close cooperation with Total Productivity. The first line was taken into production in the year 2012.
More than 14 years of development
The KeyKeg is the result of over fourteen years of product development. To ensure or exceed the characteristics of the metal kegs, the KeyKeg has a flexible bag in the PET keg. It is resistant to low and high temperatures, high pressure and rough day to day usage.
Its low weight, the compact shape and no-return process, eliminate for the brewer the non-added value process of returning and cleaning the heavy, metal kegs. Distributors can transport up to twenty-five percent more per shipment, resulting in a reduction of maximum sixty-five percent of the total logistical costs.
But, according to CEO Jan Veenendaal, the biggest advantages are for the end user. The beer is longer preservable and tastes better. And it’s more easy to have a bigger variety of beer on stock.
More information: Keykeg
Production facilities and warehouses in Europa and America
The turnover growth in the past four years was over fifty percent per year. At the same time, the market share is only 0,5 percent. Veenendaal: ‘Our goal is 25 percent market share. We are expanding with production facilities and logistic warehouses in all of Europe and America. We want to have our production facilities as close as possible to our customers.’
Simpler and more compact manufacturing equipment
Based on requests in the market, an improved version of the Keg has been developed. This new keg not only meets evolving market requirements, but also requires a less complex manufacturing system. The development led to a double-walled PET container in 20 and 30 litres configuration. The Keg is slim, stable, ergonomic and easily stackable.
For the KeyKeg Slimline development has been decided, right at the start of the developments, to realise the manufacturing line in-house. This brings advantages in various aspects: short lines of communication, synergy for the concurrent engineering, experience build-up in house and eventually cost reduction. The production system has a high grade of automation: influence of labour costs is relatively limited, which makes it possible to manufacture in the Netherlands.
For the KeyKeg Slimline production line development, Lightweight Containers started the cooperation with TP in a very early stage. The goal: ”design and build a flexible production line, taking changes in the product into account”.
Hans Totté, CEO of Total Productivity BV: ‘The customer needed to shorten the time-to-market by developing the production system when the product was still in the final stages of product development. Concurrent engineering of product and process requires intensive cooperation, commitment to the end results and good communication.
During this process , various technical thresholds were taken, like laser cutting and ultrasonic welding’.
Interesting link in this respect: GoLean!