“Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” — Abraham Lincoln
What is Optimization?
Don’t get fooled into thinking optimization is a just a buzz word. It can be overused when magazine articles and internet ads compete for your attention with titles like “5 Hacks to Optimize your High-Fat Diet” and “Optimize your Success by Optimizing your Energy.”
But these articles appeal to our constant desire to improve, to get more value out of what we have, to work smarter, and maximize efficiency in daily activities. Optimization adds an asterisk to Roosevelt’s famous adage “do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”
Optimizing is doing the most that we can, with what we have, where we are.
Optimization can be applied to individual things your personal diet, exercise, and sleep routines, but it can also be applied to complex systems, like a group project at work, a family schedule, or a sports team.
For example, imagine a high school basketball team. For the team to work together and perform the best they can, each player’s individual strengths and weaknesses have to be improved to a certain standard. Every player has to learn the rules. They have to adjust their bodies, understand their weaknesses, and work on them until they become strengths.
How to Score Points in Stretch Wrapping
That’s how optimization works in stretch wrapping. Technicians take what your company has – which may be machines of all ages, some ten-years-old, some two-years-old, performing at different levels – and they optimize every machine to perform at new standards.
This allows you to use some of the highest-performing films available on the market. When you optimize a system of machines like a sports team, focusing on improving all players (machines) rather than just paying attention to a star player or performer, you increase your efficiency and reduce costs overall. That’s the way you win the game.
Optimizing with the MUST Method
In Atlantic’s MUST Method, when technicians come in and optimize your stretch wrapping operation, they focus on these adjustments and opportunities to improve machines:
- adding wrapping menu capabilities
- adding automatic load identification
Upgrading load carriage capabilities
- delivering proper pre-stretch and secondary stretch levels
- improving productivity of each line
Another key component in the task of optimization is the people that are operating the equipment.
Atlantic spends the time performing necessary operator training, so that operators not only understand the equipment, but also understand Atlantic. This way, operators can form a relationship with Atlantic’s technical group, and can reach out to technicians for support.
Atlantic sees packaging as a process – machines, engineers, and operators all work together to see packages through to their destinations. If one piece of the system isn’t working properly, the whole system fails.
That’s why optimization is so important – to perform to a standard, first machines, engineers, and operators need to be brought up to standard with optimized adjustment and care.