Manufacturing monitoring systems

A recent project at Retal was both proposed and initiated by the team at Retal Russia.Driven by Artem Kletchenkov, regional director for Retal in Russia and also the project sponsor who proposed this opportunity for improvement, the team was aiming to define real time monitoring across its production.
Under the project name ‘PETscope’, the project started at the company’s PetRus facility before being implemented across other factories in the region, with global adoption throughout Retal expected within the next two years. Retal operates 21 factories worldwide, with more than half located in Russia.

Solving issues

Kletchenkov explains, “The aim of PETscope is to improve efficiency in production by integrating the possibility to check each machine online in real time and to be able to accurately predict the machine’s longer-term capabilities, such as when maintentance is needed so it can be effectively planned for. It allows us to ask questions to our production online too, such as volume parameters for a particular preform currently being produced. This was not possible before; we just had to check our reports each month and make decisions based on previous performance and our expertise. Now, our expertise is enhanced by our online analysis and we can make far quicker decisions and solve any issues immediately. It supports our forecasting as well as our daily operations as we can make small changes as we go along.”

The strategic benefits of this monitoring system were explained by the Retal Russia team. Kletchenkov says, “Once we had implemented the system in our factories in PetRus, then Retal Kalug and others, the decision was made to roll out the monitoring to global Retal factories, starting with Lithuania. Uniting all our production systems is creating the best solution for us as a multinational manufacturer; essentially all our factories have similar requirements as we all produce plastic packaging using modern equipment, so it is easy to share what we have learned with our wider family.”

This sharing of expertise is the key to PETscope quickly proving to be a success for Retal. Connecting the whole company through an efficient network that can communicate in real time allows for any production issues to be quickly resolved, if they even happen thanks to early intervention, and means that factories producing products for global customers can share best practice.

Kletchenkov concludes, “Every morning I have a meeting with my team and we all agree how to handle any issues in production, any delays, machinery maintenance; with PETscope, those issues are far less problematic as we can predict them and manage them smoothly, which helps to support the engagement of our team, and we can always use the lessons learned to help our colleagues at other factories. Our production is not interrupted so our customers can totally rely on us. This online system is easy to implement and easy to use yet it brings greater clarity to our daily operations; we are proud that PETscope was developed in Russia and is valued across the whole of Retal.”

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