How KPI driven execution translates into increased OEE and overall cost reduction


With over 40 CNC machining sumps, our client had used a chemical management company to take care of all their coolant sumps, coolant recycling and machine PM clean outs. The program relied primarily on Time-Based checks and corrective actions to keep the fluids operating. Their goal was to move to a more data driven program where analyzing process KPI’s allowed for tighter process controls while identifying opportunities for continual process improvement. They selected Zimmark’s Technical Process Management Service due to our focus on data driven execution as well as the strong compliance systems and specialized expertise we provide for Metal working fluid applications.


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Using KPI Data To Drive Improvement

Sharing a quick story of a customer who decided to use our condition based coolant management program to achieve sustainable cost savings.



With over 110 stand alone coolant applications, our customer was using regular system clean-outs as a strategy to minimize risk that fluid condition would be the cause of any operational or H&S related issue. With a contract clean-out labor force in place, operators would make the judgement of when their systems needed to be adjusted or emptied. 

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Our Technicians are busy conducting fluid testing and machine TPM services in North Carolina.

Process control and machine maintenance are important aspects to be managed when companies are looking to ensure high performing processes are being maintained cost effectively. Zimmark’s Technical Process Management services are helping our client in North Carolina improve their process control and TPM compliance by taking on responsibility for the condition of their metal working fluids, washer fluids and equipment hydraulic systems.

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Would you eat that hot dog that was dropped on the floor in a public bathroom?

No, most of us don’t want to put contaminated food into our body. Then why would you use contaminated equipment when handling and topping up your machine’s hydraulic systems? The same logic applies with proper equipment lubrication methods. Machines don’t like contaminated oil in their hydraulic systems.

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Change the oil or change the culture?  (Chapter 1- Defining the Real Problem)

We heard a great line the other day. “It took us 30 years to get here; if we can lay out a plan to get us where we want in just 6 months, I’m all for it!” This statement came from one of our clients, an Engineering Manager who was talking about the state of his facility’s oiling and lubrication program. 


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LOTO - Lock-Out Tag Out

Lock Out - Tag Out, reviewing LOTO training with Tim in Greeneville TN

Safety is Zimmark’s #1 priority. As contracted guests in our client’s facilities, all Zimmark employees must be both trained and certified in customer, Zimmark and OSHA requirements. 

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Rusty Parts!

Do we really focus on finding the root cause?

Having spent over 11 years in the automotive industry, working in a cast iron machining environment, I was no stranger to rust. Whether it was found in WIP inventory, at the customer or heaven forbid in our part inventory bank, controlling corrosion was an ongoing challenge.  Rust always seemed to be that uninvited guest that would occasionally show up even though you swore you did everything you could to prevent him from coming, and by “everything” I mean all the containment and corrective actions you had every tried after having a rust event.

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A story about how layered audits helped identify the impact of CI initiatives at site

Layered Audits, a short story about my ZQ Audit last week with Nick and the effectiveness of fluid decontamination

I was recently visiting a customer facility to conduct a ZQ audit with our Account Supervisor Nick reviewing Zimmark’s onsite Technicians and equipment, focused on our safety & quality systems. During our audit we selected to review a small sump side coalescer that was removing tramp oil from a small machining sump. 

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Sustaining RO Water System

Our Fluid Tech Tayler is sampling and inspecting our RO Unit to ensure water quality performance is being maintained.

Are you spending top dollar on your industrial chemistry but unaware of the water quality it is blended with?  The water likely makes up >90% of the solution in your systems.   Does your facility have hard water which negatively impacts your manufacturing processes’ chemical performance leading to rust, high chemical consumption and excessive PMs?  Do you know how your water quality is impacting the performance of you coolants and wash chemistries?

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Centrifuge used to manage contamination levels in a large central system

Tom and Daryl are installing a portable centrifuge to decontaminate a large central system.

Have a major hydraulic leak contaminating your central coolant system? Not a problem, no need to dump and recharge the system. As part of our technical service solutions, Zimmark provided a mobile centrifuge to connect to a large central coolant system to remove the contaminated oil avoiding fluid waste costs, coolant cost and unplanned downtime. To ensure centrifuge effectiveness, Zimmark monitors the KPI's that effect fluid quality over time.

Interested in learning more about our other solutions?


Part 2 of 2 - 6 Process Types that are holding you back from Reaching World Class Manufacturing Standards

everything is a process

This post is based on one key premise.  Every aspect of manufacturing is a process, every one. 

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Reviewing Alerts is a critical piece to keeping the process in control and to identify CI opportunities

Lisa is thoroughly reviewing her morning Limit Alert Reports for our client in KY

Ensuring process compliance and reviewing corrective actions is a standard practice with every Zimmark Technical Process Management service.

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Data and Analytics, the keys to Continual Improvement

Preparing monthly performance reports for our client in South Bend, IN.

Every Zimmark technical process management service includes monthly performance reports. Each month, reports are generated from our system and reviewed by our technical managers to ensure process compliance, allowing us to use KPI data collected by our technicians every day and make data driven decision such as control plan adjustments, corrective actions or identify continual improvement opportunities that help improve our client’s process performance and reduce their overall costs.

Click here to learn more : DATA DRIVEN DECISION MAKING

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Controlling Coolant Concentration in Ancaster

Mike is hard at work testing and topping up in Ancaster, ON.

Mike is a Zimmark Fluid Technician trained to perform onsite testing and corrective actions to maintain our customer’s process compliance. Mike is responsible for maintaining 59 machines daily, monitoring machining coolant, washer chemistry, hydraulic oil analysis and oily waste water performance.


To learn more , click here:  How it Works

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Part 1 of 2 - 6 Types of Processes that are holding you back from Reaching World Class Manufacturing Standards

everything is a process-part 1

W. Edwards Deming extolled a philosophy of continual optimization.  It focused on delivering the highest quality products at the maximum yield, requiring minimal effort, generating the lowest waste possible.   In order to do that, he made a very important and critical distinction:  EVERYTHING that a business does, is a process, EVERYTHING.  It can be measured, it can be compared, it can be quantified, and it can be improved.  

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In search of the very best coolant

Lisa and Rachel are busy in our lab this week wrapping up an independent coolant evaluation.

Product independence and complete commercial objectivity gives Zimmark a unique unbiased perspective.  Our Independent Fluid Evaluations are designed to test the KPI's that drive cost and impact performance to help our customer’s determine what the optimum product is for their facility.  The goal is to reduce their overall operating costs while improving fluid performance, by applying science and data to determine a decision.


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Wow, look what a little focused elbow grease can do!

Our technicians Nick & Tayler hard at work this week in Tillsonburg, ON

Cleaning our Client's part washers as part of their equipment maintenance program to sustain process performance. Great job guys!

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Reliableplant 2016

zimmark presents 6 key elements for world class manufacturers at reliableplant 2016 in Louisville







Zimmark is presenting the "6 Keys Elements for World Class Manufacturing" at the Reliable Plant Conference in Louisville KY during the week of April 5.  

The focus of the presentation will be to highlight that the World Class manufacturing ideal (ie 100% quality, 100% On-Time at the lowest cost possible), is a relentlessly iterative process where companies need to be evaluating all the processes that exist within their facility to identify the ones that are not optimized and/or poorly integrated with their core operations.  Since a "chain is only as strong as its weakest Link" many facilities are letting non-core processes limit their profitability and throughput.  The challenge with non-core processes is that what makes them non-core is the lack of in-house expertise and/or sustainable robust systems and/or a focused data driven accountable labor force required to ensure the process stays in a controlled and improving state.  


In the presentation we identify 6 different process symptoms that need to be  assessed to determine if a step change in profitability/availability is possible,  Technology is changing so quickly that unless plants are updating their processes to take advantage of these technological improvements, they will have trouble keeping up with world class productivity levels.  


We will be presenting on Tuesday April 5, 2016 in Room 101, at 1:30 in the afternoon.  Hope to see you there!




Variability: The Root of All Evil

how kpi variability drives costs and impacts productivity


Un-managed variability of the Key Performance indicators that impact cost, process performance and quality is the root of all evil in a parts manufacturing environment.

In a parts manufacturing environment, variability is the bane of everyone's existence.  As acceptable product specifications get tighter and tighter, the degree of allowable variation continues to shrink.  However as companies try and "Lean-out" their process, they realize even variation that exists within acceptable limits can be a significant source of waste or wasteful activity.  Variability therefore is either the source of significant manufacturing events requiring urgent containment actions, or it is a source of wasteful activity that needs to be addressed in order to compete in a global market where every cost has to be closely scrutinized and evaluated.  

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Rust Season?  "Just Raise the Concentration"

the impact of higher concentration on coolant performance and cost

I was visiting a plant last week and heard a familiar tale.  We had just completed a Non-Core Process Audit, (where we measure the Key Performance Indicators that drive cost and impact process performance to identify wasteful activity and process risk), and we were reporting our findings.  Across the board their coolant concentrations were significantly higher than their posted targets. 

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Einstein's Definition of Insanity:  "Preventative Maintenance"....well sort of....

time based preventative maintenance generates waste while still leaving the process at risk and no room for ci

Einstein's quote "The definition of insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting a different result"  can describe many Preventative Maintenance programs today.  Every company is under tremendous pressure to reduce costs. They are looking for a different result, a better bottom line, but they are using the same old strategies to try and deliver it. 

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