As a leader in innovative packaging and engineered products, Berry Global wants to harness the talent and collective intelligence of its 48 000 employees worldwide to boost operational excellence.
The group has been investigating how new digital technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and data monitoring could help lean management teams. Several POCs developed in 2020 in France allowed to measure the benefits of PICC on quality and productivity. PICC is already used on 7 production sites and should be deployed gradually in the 32 countries where Berry operates.
From innovation to Lean 4.0 with PICC
As Thierry Bernet, Circular Economy Director for consumer packaging at Berry Global says : « You sometimes need a bit of luck to find the software you need. » At the beginning of 2020, he was looking for a knowledge management solution… and discovered PICC thanks to innovation.
Indeed, like ArcelorMittal (read full story here), Berry first used PICC to boost innovation. 2 days of intensive work using the Build&Solve innovation module based on TRIZ were enough to produce 40 concepts, amongst which one led to a new, patented, dispensing tube that keeps cosmetics sterile throughout their use period.
Having experienced the power of PICC’s knowledge map in innovation, Pascal Hennemann, R&D Manager, organized a demo for the lean management team. Although very enthousiastic about the solution, which seemed to provide everything he was looking for, Thierry Bernet went step by step, as recommended in the lean methodology. A first proof of concept (POC) was developped on 77 best practices to evaluate the benefits of PICC against a standard database. Since results proved convincing, 3 other POCs were added. With each one, Thierry Bernet extended a little further the scope of application : root causes analysis, dynamic problem solving procedures, injection process improvement. As he explains himself : « Through our POCs, we were able to measure the benefits of PICC on every use case. We now have tangible evidence to trust PICC’s efficiency in continuous improvement processes. »
Foster knowledge sharing between production sites
We all know how important « gemba » (the real place) is in lean management. Continuous improvement starts with observing real problems encountered by people at their workstation and one could claim that each workstation is unique. Yet, in global companies which run the same machines over 5 continents, similar problems regularly occur on various production sites. All could benefit from the experience of the others. Hence the concept of good practices.
All global companies have implemented a documentation process for best practices… but this strategic knowledge is still widely underused because hard to access. The new possibilities offered by Natural Language Processing (NLP) are a real asset for knowledge sharing. As Thierry Bernet states : « It is far easier to find the relevant BP for a given problem when BPs have been processed by PICC : Users can search the knowledge base as they would do in Google, in their own language, with their own words. Results can be filtered (author, activity, factory) and are ranked according to their relevance. They are available in 27 languages.
This point is really a key to success ; we all learn better in our mother tongue. Moreover, users are invited to evaluate (thumb up or down) if the BP was useful or not for solving their particular problem. The evaluation is automatically integrated by PICC, which improves the relevance of next searches. »
Solve complex problems in production processes
Injection moulding is the main core technology within Berry. Injection is a delicate process which depends on multiple parameters and quality insurance can become very complex when the final product consists of several parts with complicated assemblies. It requires a lot of expertise on the machines and thorough analyses for process improvement.
Here, Berry decided to explore 2 paths with PICC. The first one was to develop dynamic procedures to help technicians solve identified problems more efficiently. The second was to collect data from machines and use the AI of PICC to anticipate deviations in the process. Both POCs were built so as to capitalize knowledge in order to improve quality and reduce delivery lead time. With these new tools, teams benefit from high-value information, at the right time, in the right place. They can get new insights on production processes and make decisions faster, with a higher level of confidence. The support provided by PICC makes problem-solving more simple and efficient.
It enhances individual and collective intelligence to help reach new levels of excellence.
« PICC is really a user-centric, result-oriented solution », says Thierry Bernet, « this is really valuable. Users are happy to connect to the platform because they are confident they will find some answers to their problems. And they can also contribute with their experience feedbacks or improvement ideas. With PICC, every problem we encounter and every solution we try can be recorded ; this grows automatically our knowledge and makes it more vivid. »
Looking for new paths for continuous improvement ?
Willing to turn knowledge into a competitive advantage ?
Feel free to contact PICC and ask for a demo