How Lexmark Increased Toner Efficiency and reduced its Production Operating Cost. (200 Toner Batches Analyzed)

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Date: Monday May 2, 2022 11:51:01 am | Views: 189
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    Improved toner production using data analysis. It is becoming increasingly important for companies to intelligently use data generated in production, and Lexmark has also noticed this. Thanks to a comprehensive analysis, the manufacturer was able to increase the efficiency of its toner production and reduce operating costs.
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    Despite the clear benefits of data and analysis, according to a study by the software manufacturer MicroStrategy, only 14 percent of companies use them extensively. When data flows freely, insights can be uncovered and used to solve challenges. Leading companies are recognizing these benefits and making data more readily available. That’s exactly what they did at Lexmark. To accelerate digital transformation and get more actionable data, the manufacturer has broken down internal silos, empowering employees to analyze and share insights, thereby supporting organizational change. “By doing so, we have found areas

    Against this background, the manufacturer also took a close look at the production of its cartridges. “Print cartridge production is a complex, multi-step chemical process that can be thrown off balance with even the slightest of fluctuations,” says Lang. In the past, this process was not always precise. To make matters worse, decisions were made based on limited real-time insights and analytics capabilities were not fully utilized. “This resulted in a wide variety of effects, from uncontrollable particle growth to long, inconsistent cycle times,” reports the manager. Therefore, a data-oriented investigation has been started with the aim of improving process control and reducing cycle times. “The first step was to leverage the massive amount of data we’re generating,” explains Lang. “Our production system generates and stores large amounts of data on each print cartridge batch. However, we did not actively analyze and gain insights from it.”

    Production records from more than 200 toner batches analyzed
    The manufacturer therefore analyzed numerous production data sets from more than 200 toner batches. “Through this investigation, we found the root of our process control problems,” says Lang. “With the new knowledge, we were able to adapt our approach and develop algorithms that guaranteed consistent results.” With the new data-based model for toner production, it was possible to improve process control, shorten the overall cycle time and reduce production costs, for which the manufacturer has received the Manufacturing Leadership Award for outstanding achievements in engineering and production technology, among other things. The project is to be continued in several phases. And “we assume that we will achieve further improvements in all areas after the project has been completed”, believes the Lexmark expert. “This process has shown us how powerful data can be and how important it is to fully exploit insights.”
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