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Perfect Packaging Items in Accordance with New Standards through “GC/GD Diamond“ Project

13.05.2014 - Virgin Fibre Cartonboard, Company / Mills

We know: success is the result of constantly focusing on the customer and continually improving our own processes. With the aim of further optimising the quality of products and packaging all along the logistics chain, we initiated the “GC/GD Diamond“ project two years ago. The name says it all: the quality offensive calls for the highest standards in dealing with packaging items.

Starting with the 90° angle between the upper and lower edge of the packaging item, the condition of the film and the position of the wooden pallets all the way to the height of the packaging and the alignment of the protruding ends – the perfect item of packaging is characterised by many different criteria. The first step is to achieve just this, and the second is to safeguard it all along the logistics chain. The highly motivated project team kept its eye constantly on the objective and never flagged in living and breathing this philosophy – a significant factor contributing to the success of the quality offensive. 

Various seminars and workshops at the start of the “GC/GD Diamond“ project heightened employee‘s awareness of the importance of the programme and with it the goal of achieving the perfect piece of packaging. Together they drew up a wide range of steps to be followed:

The foundation for quality work and therefore a prerequisite for achieving the perfect piece of packaging, is a proper working environment and making sure that work is designed around the “5S“ principle: Sort out – Streamline (arrange things properly) – Shine (clean up) – Standardise (keep clean) – Self-Discipline. Workplaces were designed in such a way that the work can run smoothly, and endless searching, long transport routes and waiting times are avoided to ensure that work is more efficient and less wasteful. The combination of packaging items weighing up to 1,000 kg and a thin film packaging requires the highest degree of care. Precisely documented guidelines for handling the packaging unit, for storing it, determining the packing order and securing the load, ensure that it is almost impossible for packaged items to be damaged. It is important that every packaging item leaves the mill in perfect shape, but even more crucial that it arrives at the customer in the same condition. That is why all the steps along the logistics chain, incl. MMK interim depots, are involved in the quality management process.

Transparency is the key factor in the whole project. Sharing experience between individual mills helps to pass on specifications and procedures which have proved themselves in practice, to set up best practice examples and to establish these excellent methods and practices throughout the company.

In order to make implementing the standards in operational practice easier and to ensure that they are long-lasting, regular unannounced packaging audits are carried out where precisely defined assessment criteria are applied which only allow minimal tolerances. As well as providing objective monitoring, these audits also serve to ensure that specific requirements are adhered to, and above all to identify weaknesses and find where there is room for improvement. Every audit is prepared in a careful training process and carried out by experienced auditors. The results are documented in detail.

By implementing many small steps, the “GC/GD Diamond“ project was finally able to achieve major success: today MMK is setting new standards with the perfect appearance of its packaging items.