Increase in operational output in an international chemical business

A leading company operates sites manufacturing chemical, plastic and rubber-based products on an international basis. In one of its US sites over 500 employees produce specialized materials and products on seven lines. The overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) was to be increased by 5% through optimization in production, maintenance and service. T.A. Cook was chosen to lead and coordinate the project management and all change activities. Here are the key results:




Reduction in changeover times between 30-60%


Cost reduction


Implementation of a preventive maintenance philosophy


In order to determine the potential improvement opportunities it was first necessary to undertake an analysis of overall processes, systems, performance, behaviors and interactions and to build up a detailed picture of the nature and criticality of reactive and planned maintenance activities. To kick-off the project the definition of OEE was agreed and a base value calculated. Thereafter the team undertook a productivity study of selected production lines and packing areas to ascertain precise OEE performance, trends and variations to plan. Having determined key influencing factors, further work on remaining lines allowed the team to build a complete picture of losses, criticality, frequency and their influence on OEE.

Analyzing the as-was maintenance plan, the work content, its prioritization, and estimated manning and time requirements allowed the T.A. Cook team to establish work standards for the most important jobs. These work standards provided the basis for tighter and better-targeted planned and predictive maintenance schedules, freeing up time to further improve the understanding of the root causes of failures and facilitate the reduction in contractor numbers.

In addition to the main project, the team also investigated the planning and control of capex, non-recurring revenue and minor project work.

A similar analysis-definition implementation process defined and facilitated significant changes to management of these elements with considerable secondary benefit of a positive effect on OEE.


The collective effect of the improvement program facilitated an increase in OEE of between 5 and 8% depending on product. Additionally, savings of between 2.5 and 2.8% were achieved in maintenance and contractor spend. Response times for maintenance teams covering breakdowns were halved from an average of 45 minutes or more to just 20 minutes, and the time needed for preventive maintenance routines was reduced by 30%.

For the client, this results in a sustainable, measurable and competitive advantage through increased performance and cost optimization.

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€2.9 million potential savings in maintenance

Consulting partner T.A. Cook discovered potential maintenance optimization gains of €2.9 million for a specialty chemical company’s global maintenance operation. Employing new technologies, T.A. Cook came up with the means to compare the dispersed maintenance teams’ global performance.