The Challenge

After supplying a large variety of meat cutting and processing blades to this facility, our customer approached us with an issue with some blades they were using on their thermoforming machine. Our customer moved away from using GEA original parts and had started using a local supplier. Unfortunately, the local supplier had changed some dimensions of the thermoforming punches to make the blades standardised, but this had a very bad effect on our customer’s production line. The blades were also breaking more frequently than the OEM knives, increasing downtime, and ruining the finish of the cut. The customer gave M.R. Machine Knives Ltd. the challenge of redrawing the blades, and producing them urgently to ensure the customer’s plant didn’t stop production, which would’ve been at a cost of over €2,000 per hour.

The Objectives

  • Determine the issues with the current product from examining the sample.
  • Develop a product that provides a better cut, and does not compromise quality to standardise the product.
  • Ensure the changes made keep the product low cost, whilst retaining quality.
  • Deliver the revised blades urgently, to ensure the customer does not face downtime.

The Solution

Once the competitors samples were returned with the OEM samples, it was noticed immediately what the issue was. The radius of the cutting edge had been changed, which meant the product was cutting into the packaging slightly wrong each time, damaging the cutting edge more than normal, hence the lower lifetime of the blade.

Firstly, the OEM blade was drawn up correctly, featuring the radii required as per the OEM sample. The blade was then quoted to the customer as a new product, and the order was placed.

Once the order was received, M.R. Machine Knives Ltd. had the task of producing a specially designed and manufactured product in less than two weeks. After speaking to our heat treatment sub-contractors and our CNC production staff, it was determined that we could rush these blades through our production to meet our customer’s demand.

Finally, once completed, the order was shipped via a same-day service, allowing our customer to check, fit and use the blades in less than 3 weeks from sending us the samples.

The Benefits

  • The blade was matched to the OEM sample, providing an OEM quality cutting finish, at a much cheaper price.
  • The customer’s facility did not stop, their production was able to continue manufacturing, saving further costs.
  • The new blade lasted much longer than the competitors blade, meaning the customer saved over €5,000 per year on this set of blades alone.

The Conclusion

A low quality, cheap and standardised solution was offered by one of our competitors, not adhering to the OEM specification, the blade lacked both cutting quality and longevity of the cutting edge. M.R. Machine Knives Ltd. redesigned the knives, and within 3 weeks, the blades were drawn, produced, shipped and fitted on the machine, allowing the customer to continue producing. Not only saving them money, the new blade increased the quality of cutting of the product, and reduced overall downtime as the blade didn’t need to be replaced as often.

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