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Achieving the best vertical start-up on site with a 40% reduction of failure downtime

Case study Marcolin / LVMH / Thelios

Business Challenges

Investment in the UK site has increased since the Company's merged with another in 2015. A total of £113.6M was invested, including £20M for modernizing the filling and packing operations in the plant. In June 2021, the Company announced that it would invest a further £140M into the plant over the next four years. This represents the firm's biggest expansion to a manufacturing site outside the U.S. in over two decades.

But the Company has been experiencing mixed results with their past capital investment projects, with longer periods of commissioning and extended timescale to full production output. This had an impact on service and the planned return on investment.

It was clear they did not want to reproduce such scenario, and that they needed to have an outside view on how to make the best of their investments.

They chose EFESO Consulting because of its experience and structured approach to Early Equipment Management (EEM ), a proven track record in vertical start-up and industry wide credentials. The combination of methodology, the development of an improvement culture and structure with the installation of a Performance Control System (PCS) all supported by a solid layer of Human Dynamics (HD).


EFESO Consulting together with the Company set a two-phase project (on the multipack new lines) focusing on EEM vertical start-up. This included members of the Packaging Leadership Team presenting to the Site Steering Committee on a regular basis along with Project Engineering and Production functions.

Phase 1 - Optimizing the performance of the existing equipment

Initial focus was on restoration of basics and agile problem solving on critical parts of the line, along with embedding the priority daily control routines sustainability of the critical areas, in particular:

  • Defect handling on the Labeler and Tray Packer to drive daily/weekly anomaly identification, quick restoration and support overhaul plans
  • Cleaning, Inspection, and Lubrication standards (CILs) and daily Pit Stop – to drive the correct daily/weekly routines & behaviors
  • Centerline – to drive standard adherence to settings
  • Changeover time adherence – for quick confirmation of standards and daily problem solving on deviations
  • Foundational training to the packaging team on the priority element within the Company manufacturing system in readiness for application on the new packaging line
  • Building of a “Learn from past experience” database to be used in Phase 2 on the new equipment

Phase 2 in two parts

  • Exploiting any opportunity for problem prevention before the equipment is installed
    • Application of problem prevention checklists with the supplier (using the EEM methodology)
    • Exploitation of digital opportunities
  • Commissioning, verification, qualification and handover for a rapid and sustainable achievement of the target
    • We addressed commissioning issues through focused daily problem handling and problem solving.
    • We ensured focused workstreams were created to support the quick implementation of standards.

The Client

Our Client is a leading premium chocolate manufacturer. Most of its manufacturing locations are in Europe and the USA and its end products are sold and enjoyed throughout the entire world.

The challenge

The Company was investing a lot on Early Equipment Management (EEM) but with limited results. They needed to be more effective to accelerate results. The target was to achieve a 25% reduction in failure downtime versus the historical performance.

Industry: Food and Beverage
Location: Manchester, England
Project duration: 6 months

This plant has a long list of failed capital projects not delivering on their objectives. Multipack Unwrapped has been the most successful capital investment project in This plant history so far.


  • 40% reduction of failure downtime versus the target of 25%
  • Adoption and Leadership by packaging department stakeholders at all levels
  • Process Improvements to the Global EEM Pillar for future re-application along with connections to the internal Manufacturing System for long term sustainability
  • Failure Mode and Root Cause Mindset leading to effective action implementation
  • EEM Checklists created and applied during commissioning phase to ensure success is embedded: Safety - Operability – Maintenance – Flexibility - Autonomous maintenance