Commonwealth Brands is part of the Imperial Tobacco Group and a long-time J.A. King customer. The company produces the Malibu, USA Gold and Sonoma cigarette brands, among others, as well as loose cigarette tobacco and cigarette tubes in their Reidsville, NC facility.
Commonwealth recently launched their Organisational Excellence Programme, or OEP, a continuous improvement initiative based on LEAN principles. Said John McPherson, Commonwealth’s Secondary Production Manager, “OEP is all about driving performance through increasing Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) and minimizing waste.”
McPherson said, “We saw we had a waste problem, but we couldn’t pinpoint where it was coming from. We needed the transparency of understanding where our waste was being generated with a view to reducing it.”
J.A. King and Commonwealth Brands have a historic relationship going back several decades, with J.A. King providing calibration for their scales and precision measurement equipment. Because of this working relationship, Commonwealth called J.A. King first when starting to specify a system to identify and track waste.
“Our current equipment couldn’t provide the measurements we needed, so J.A. King designed and manufactured a custom system to our specification. Within the specification, we also required the ability to have future modification, to have full admin rights to expand or modify the scope of the process if we needed to in the future,” said McPherson.