Nokia Mobile Phones' new incoming packages are lighter, more durable and easier to handle than the old ones. The new packages have also brought significant savings both for suppliers and Nokia.
Nokia Mobile Phones usually gets their enhancements in cardboard cases. The cases used to be made of thick, poor quality cardboard, and opening of them caused some accidents. The amount of waste was big, and removing the cardboard waste decreased work efficiency in line.
When the Salo factory started to reorganize its work, incoming enhancement packages were targeted as well. The starting point was Nokia's own processes. The work was begun with battery, charger and headset packages. The idea was to match the size and number of packages with the reorganized workplaces. The packages were supposed to be easier to open, and more ergonomically sound to carry and lift, but still durable and light. Also cleanliness of the work place was expected to improve.
"The suppliers, mainly from Asia, were against our new suggestions in the beginning", tells Packing Specialist Raul Hartman from Nokia Mobile Phones Global Operations. "The suppliers are responsible for the products being in one piece when they arrive at Nokia, and hence lighter and thinner cardboard cases did not attract them in the first place. The availability of high quality cardboard was also a challenge in Asia." Asian suppliers like to pack the products one by one using cross hatching structure in the boxes. In Nokia, people used to remove the gratings in order to get enhancements better out of the box. This in turn harmed the products, now and then.
"When we were able to point out that our new system will save material and money, they got excited", says Raul. Single-walled boxes replaced the double-walled ones, and gratings were decreased to a minimum. The new boxes are easier to open, which means fewer accidents and less time to access the materials. Also the lifting of lighter packages has become easier. The decreased amount of waste has reduced the need for cleaning, and the time can be used now for working. "The material savings have been about 36% per outbound package. Both Nokia and suppliers have been able to get significant cost savings. The amount of waste has decreased about 215 000 kg annually."
The savings were achieved also in transportation. The team developed the package size to be more convenient to airfreight. The transportation efficiency improved 33% for chargers, 32% for headsets and 5% for batteries.
The results of the project are encouraging and the work will continue. New packages should be developed for other enhancements based on these new structures as well. Under consideration will be also the recyclability of dillies.