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Best Practices in the Challenging World of 3D P-O-P

(October 2012) posted on Mon Oct 01, 2012

This case study examines the standard operating procedures that help KDM produce complex P-O-P projects successfully.

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By Maureen Gumbert

The ink and other materials are prepared for the job, labeled, and staged for press after the department manager inspects and validates them. The press operators compare the raw materials to the specifications on the job ticket prior to setting up the job. They will follow the SOP when they set up the press and inspect their first prints. The manager will pull, inspect, and sign off on the first prints and additional random parts throughout the run. The frequency of these checks may be either for time or quantity. All prints that do not conform to the approved standard are segregated. When the job is complete, the manager validates the quantities. With the more complex 3D displays, we would typically produce more overs than usual to allow for finishing.

The inspection and validation process is consistent in each and every operation throughout the project’s production. For example, when the display is die cut and scored, the manager checks the first piece against the specifications and the prototype and then signs off. The manager then inspects random samples and validates the final count. In this case, when the rope handles located on the sides of the bottom piece are assembled, the inspection and validation process starts over for that operation. An example of the first piece/part must always be located at the workstation, along with the job ticket. This way, any manager, project manager, or salesperson can also validate. Any substandard parts are segregated.

Many of the 3D P-O-P displays we produce must be assembled before they are packed into kits. Once again, an example must be made and signed off by a manager. Careful consideration is made to get the display to its destinations safely—especially so in this case with the delicate, die-cut bottles extending from the bottom of the treasure box. The manager must also sign off on the quantity, packing method, and labels on the example.

Other best practices
We have a formal auditing program that measures 5S principles—practices related to lean or just-in-time manufacturing—as they apply to organization, housekeeping, and equipment maintenance in each department.  We also have a quality incentive program in which any employees who identify errors that may have resulted in lost time and/or materials may be awarded a cash bonus if they went above and beyond their normal job responsibilities that include reading and understanding the job ticket and customer artwork, validating raw materials during the first part inspection, and checking the work done from other departments. We call these Eagle Awards, and the employees are given plaques.

And last but not least, KDM recognizes that employees are the experts in their areas and may have a better way of doing something. Employees are rewarded with a cash bonus for innovative and creative ideas, for finding efficiencies and improving workflows, decreasing material or labor costs, and improving quality or safety.

Maureen Gumbert is marketing manager for Cincinnati, OH-based KDM P-O-P Solutions Group.



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