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Lischke Consulting GmbH
Kajen 10 / 20459 Hamburg
+49 (0)40 378557-0
vasb@yvfpuxr.pbz

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Dyeing process via app.
A successful project example for significant reduction of production times and improvement of product quality.

Julius Koch is a leading global specialist in the sunscreen & textile industry with Danish roots and German headquarters in Schleswig-Holstein.

Julius Koch’s core competence is the production and customized dyeing of high-quality technical textile articles, such as tapes, cords and ladder cords for the sun protection industry. Textile goods for the sun protection industry form the most important business segment – but braided sewing thread and textile protection systems such as nets and fences are also part of the product portfolio.

For 13 years Julius Koch has been living a successful Lean Management program, continuously supported and empowered by the cooperation with Lischke Consulting. In the process, costs caused by waste were reduced along the value stream. Lean activities enabled Julius Koch to expand and defend its position as a niche champion.

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During the periodic Gemba Walks in the Lean program, quality defects due to color deviations in the process of dyeing were identified. In the subsequent root cause analysis, the paper-based, analog-managed color recipes were identified as the main cause of these deviations, in addition to technical and process-related root causes.

Until now, the storage of recipes for the dyeing of technical textile articles has been exclusively analog (mostly handwritten). Some problems/wastes caused by this were:

  • High search times.
  • Frequent color variations in the final product.
  • Lack of data collection on formulation adjustments.
  • No possibility of data evaluation regarding
  • Color consumption and adjustments.

The objective was therefore clear: the standardization and digitization of color formulations to minimize color deviations within the colorinh process of textile products, as well as the utilization (including the collection, viewing and use) of previously unrecorded data for further optimization.

In the first step, the paper-based and analog-managed ink formulations were inspected.

The analysis showed that the information required in the process (such as ingredients, machine settings, etc.) was not always recorded and documented centrally and consistently. Together with the employees of the dyehouse, a standard recipe template was developed on the basis of the findings. This served as input for the conceptual design in the further course of the project.

In the second step, the focus was on digitizing the color recipes. For this purpose, a database for storage (back-end) and a user interface for the users (front-end) were designed. The basis for the conceptual design of these components was a quantity structure on the number and type of recipes and articles as well as the recording of the user requirements of the management, dyers and machine operators through a workshop cycle.

Fig. 1: Sustainability triangle with target function of supply chain management.

User requirements were of particular importance in this context. Only by involving all participating user groups was it possible to design and implement a custom-fit solution.

A special requirement arose from the fact that polyester yarns are used in the manufacture of the textiles. This makes coloration accuracy more difficult, requiring dyers to make job-specific recipe adjustments in the process. These adjustments should be documented in the future process to aid in data evaluation as well as adjustments to the basic recipes.

Tools from the Microsoft 365 environment were used to implement the user requirements.

The database (back-end) was implemented in a clear and user-friendly SharePoint website – which allows easy data maintenance without programming knowledge. Furthermore, the data evaluation of consumption and necessary recipe adjustments is thus possible via PowerBI or Excel.

As a user interface (front-end) for the dyers and machine operators, a separate app was programmed with Microsoft Power Apps, tailored to the individual requirements. The advantages include good administrability with little programming knowledge, cross-operating system and cross-device compatibility, and seamless integration in the Microsoft 365 environment. The app is password protected by user accounts, allows retrieval of basic recipes and creation of new version histories.

The database was filled successively. Other Microsoft 365 tools have been used for this (Microsoft Flow and Forms). This made it possible to set up an automated approval workflow that guarantees high quality input data.

During the go-live of the app for the digital management of color recipes, the following results were achieved, among others:

  • Quality increase and stabilization of the dyeing process.
  • Reduction of color deviations in the dyeing process.
  • Reduction of process times.
  • Training of six Julius Koch employees.
  • Ability to analyze ink consumption and recipe adjustments.

In the future, the data from the app will be processed for analysis purposes. For example, the use of artificial intelligence can further reduce color deviations, make predictions about the color and Chemical consumption and even generate suggestions for adjustments to the basic recipes.

Conclusion:

Consulting by Lischke Consulting has helped the company to significantly advance digitalization in part of its production. The successful implementation of the digital recipe database has significantly reduced process times and visibly and measurably increased product quality in coloring.

Of particular importance was the continuous and interactive involvement of all user groups in order to develop a working, accepted and lived solution.

All employees have helped shape the company’s digital future. Especially the many years of experience in production processes and the application of digital tools made Lischke Consulting an excellent partner.

For questions or interest, Peter Gelbrich would be glad to speak to you personally.

Telephone: +49 (0) 40 378557 0
Mobile: +49 (0) 172 41 44 182
E-Mail: crgre.tryoevpu@yvfpuxr.pbz

Kontaktformular EN Peter Gelbrich
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