Technical Report

New ideas for measurable profit

There should be a stringent and consistent approach to how services are optimally rendered and performed. Optima Group Nonwovens’s Michael Wratschko looks at the implementation of a customer project that addressed two lines for packaging incontinence products, and shows if these approaches are viable in practice

Services have the purpose to keep productivity high and downtimes short. Their second mission is to keep repair costs for a machine as low as possible in relation to the machine’s life cycle. The following models served as background for the project:

  1. With a typical “run-to-failure” strategy, machine availability decreases continually in proportion to its life cycle. Service strategies aimed at total productive maintenance (TPM) in addition to maintenance/spare parts according to schedule and machine condition, and also intended to keep machine availability continuously high, compared to that of a new machine (Table 1).
  2. Over a machine’s life cycle, maintenance costs increase. A complete overhaul or an overhaul of individual modules, however, lowers costs in certain respects, from which a new increase starts from a considerably lower level (Table 2).
  3. If a high machine quality is maintained by regular maintenance and service, the related costs are considerably lower than those for relatively rare general overhauls. This is due to consequential costs, which, for example, can be caused by a damaged bearing. If such a component breaks, additional parts with a much higher service life are additionally affected (Table 3).
Table 1
Table 2
Table 3

In consideration of these hypotheses, Optima Group’s service department developed a machine and customer-specific service programme. The project was realised at the site of and in co-operation with a company in the non-woven sector and included data evaluation for measuring the results.

According to the contract, the focus was placed on TPM measures, and maintenance was oriented based on the current machine condition. The project addressed two lines for packaging incontinence products, one that had been in operation for five years and one for three years.


As a first step, the service department of Optima Group analysed the condition of the two lines and upgraded them to a state-ofthe- art technological level as far as possible (Spring 2010). The upgrades carried out on the machines included ventilation fans, rotary stations, and also sealing units. Simultaneously, the customer received a report stating the necessary maintenance activities with regard to wear parts as a traffic light system: Exchange immediately (marked red), exchange after six months at the latest (marked yellow), and green (to be observed). In August 2010, the upgraded machines went back into operation.

In parallel, the existing internal maintenance concept was completely overturned, and tasks and processes were optimised. Maintenance intervals, for example, were shortened from ten to five weeks. Additionally, the new concept precisely defined the intervals for checking specific parts (e.g. ball bearings). Another important task was processing the visual documentation to assist and support the customer.

Before upgrade

Later on, the preventive maintenance measures were supported and rounded off by training instructions alongside the machines. In addition, maintenance oriented at machine condition was introduced. For example, motor temperatures are now saved, and relevant data are compiled and evaluated. In the future, it will be possible to forecast at which temperature and/or during which period an error might occur, enabling staff to react in time.

After upgrade


In line with the project’s kick-off, an Optima technician was sent to the customer’s packaging department for six months. This brought new insights into the quality of operational procedures and the findings allowed better evaluation of errors and machine stops. The service team also implemented operator training on site and support for ongoing trouble shooting.

In addition, specific spare part kits for special circumstances were put together, and installation of the spare parts and machine maintenance was also carried out under the supervision of Optima’s service department.


The central issue from the customer’s perspective, of course, pertained to the addedvalue that has been generated by these additional services. Did the measure close with a sound overall balance?

A data analysis for both machines involved in the project was carried out over the entire term. Production, operation, and SAP (ERP) data of the machines were evaluated, giving insight into productivity and respective downtimes. All factors were compared over specific periods to evaluate the measure’s efficiency.

In addition, data was analysed separately for the stacker and the bagger (stacker and bagger together form a packaging system for non-woven products.)

The conclusion determined that the number of unplanned downtimes was reduced by more than 50%. General machine downtimes were reduced by far more than 10% on both lines. In one line, the working hours required for maintenance work (planned and unplanned) even diminished by up to 70 %.

Optima Service explained the varying results between line 1 and 2 by the existing machine conditions. In general, line 1 was in worse condition, so that values also improved more after completion of the measures. At the same time, however, the initial audit and the general overhaul for this machine were more cost-intensive.


The percentage increase of productivity was massive for one line and considerable for the second. The service measures yielded an even better operative result than expected. With such increased productivity, an additional turnover of more than $6m was achieved during the first six months.

On the basis of compiled data, Optima Service determined that, to the benefit of the customer, repair costs over the entire machine service life were indeed reduced. Meanwhile, the customer has extended the runtime of the project and also included another facility. Additional service projects are already being realised in the non-wovens and consumer division according to similar, yet customised concepts.

Michael Wratschko is Optima Group Nonwovens’ customer service group leader. The company is a wrapping and packaging machinery manufacturer and its sectors include home, infant, personal care, and end-of-line automation

The OPTIMA OSR5: faster and more flexible A new power dimension for packaging toilet rolls

Optima Group Nonwovens has said its OPTIMA OSR5 has set new standards for packaging toilet paper rolls.

It is the company’s latest development in the field of primary packaging and produces scan packs in single-lane operation and processes other format types, including double and triple layer packages at a speed of up to 90 strokes.

This results in a processing pace of 1,000 to 1,200 rolls per minute.

The machine was designed for manufacturers of private label products in the retail sector, and the first machine was installed at a customer’s site earlier this year, and is now fully up and running. Oliver Rebstock, managing director of Optima Group Nonwovens, told TW: “The main advantage of the OPTIMA OSR5 is its unrivalled output. It means that more products are handled by one machine.

“Its flexibility is also key: in the field of paper hygiene products, customers produce many different type of pack sizes and formats. It is unusual that all these sizes and formats can be handled with one machine.”

The production requirements include frequent product changeover. In three-shift operation, no product is processed for more than two days. Rebstock said: “Changeover times generally do not exceed 45 minutes. During machine acceptance testing, the customer’s machine operators even achieved running-to-running times from 5 to 35 minutes.”

He added: “Optima Group Nonwovens guarantees that the customer is able to produce packages at least 96% of the time that is planned for production.”

It also has a maximum product reject rate of 0.5%, which was achieved at the customer’s site during the permanent operation phase of the acceptance test.