Colgate Palmolive Manufacturing Poland is a production plant producing toothpaste and mouthwash for all European countries. Colgate Palmolive in Świdnica employs approx.900 employees and produces two million tubes of toothpaste a day.
The production lines for the production of toothpastes contain a lot of plastic format parts. Format parts are all those that come into contact with the product. They must be exchanged on the machine each time the packaging format is changed. Format parts are “on the front line”. This means that in any collision, it is these parts that are to be destroyed, protecting other more expensive and difficult to replace elements of the production line. In a more serious collision, as many as several dozen parts may be destroyed, and the waiting time for parts from the machine manufacturer is up to two months. As a result, the factory has had to order a large number of parts for the warehouse.
We started our cooperation with Colgate Palmolive in 2018 with training in industrial 3D printing with a special emphasis on discussing the selection of parts for additive technologies. In the next step, we chose the parts that are the most problematic in the supply chain (long delivery times, high costs, low availability). Then, we chose parts that, thanks to their complex geometry, are best suited for production in 3D printing technologies. In the case of CP, the situation was easier because there were several parts that were originally produced using SLS technology, so we could easily replace the HP Multi Jet Fusion technology. Then, our engineering department reconstructed 3D models of parts using 3D scanners and reverse engineering software.
Since then, we regularly find new parts that we can produce faster and cheaper in 3D printing technologies.
A very important element of cooperation are annual several-day meetings at the CP plant, during which we update the knowledge of engineers and look for new applications of technology. During such a meeting, we do a tour of all production lines, thanks to which we know exactly what role the parts we produce play. This is very important in the context of our improvements.
Colgate Palmolive is the first company in which we have implemented the Cubic.Parts system. In the virtual CP magazine, we currently have over 20 parts. The main functions of the system are communication with employees, and recording all changes and storage of subsequent replacement of parts. Before, multiple problems and communication issues used to arise due to storing the data in Google Drive.
✔ Improved delivery time of the parts from 5-6 to 3-5 weeks
✔ Lowering the risk of the production downtime in a factory
✔ Reduction in the costs of the spare parts by 20% to 60% depending on the part
✔ Possibility to introduce modifications to the details
✔Reducing the spare parts inventory and capital release