KiMs is one of Scandinavia’s leading producers of crisps, nuts and snack foods. The company continually strives for improvements in efficiency, and to this end has adopted the Japanese-inspired approach of ‘lean production’, a manufacturing philosophy that considers the expenditure of resources on anything other than increasing value for the customer to be wasteful and therefore a target for elimination.
Quality assurance testing
KiMs has appointed a dedicated Lean Manager, Flemming Carlsen, to target areas for improving efficiency and adding value for the customer. One of the first areas that Mr Carlsen focused on was the quality assurance testing on the Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) line at KiMs factory in Søndersø in central Denmark, where 230 people are employed. A high proportion of the plant’s products are packaged in nitrogen – an inert gas that keeps the products fresh for longer and improves their shelf-life.
To ensure that the packages contain only nitrogen, workers periodically remove packages and insert a needle to test the gas composition. If the gas content is found to be outside particular limits – if some oxygen has entered the package, for example – manual adjustments are then made to the gas inlet system into the packaging line.