Students Help Pregis Reduce Scrap

DEERFIELD, IL

Pregis Corp. has been able to reduce scrap by $80,000 annually and improve safety at its Plymouth, IN, plant as a result of findings by Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, students. Three engineering students participated in a project designed to expose undergrads to real-world production challenges. The objective was to find a cost-effective, safe solution for the plant's material cutting process for thicker laminates.

The solution ended up being two prong — a redesigned knife and modifications to the mechanical “fingers” used to advance the web. Dennis Hughes, plant manager, says, “The new knife was installed two months ago and is performing beautifully. We've been able to automate the process and have dramatically improved downtime, scrap, and waste — in addition to our safety environment.”

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