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Analysis Leads to Downtime Reduction


Fieldbrook Foods is a contract manufacturer of ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet, sorbet, and numerous novelty items that are sold to over 30,000 supermarket chains and food service establishments in the U.S., Canada, the Caribbean, and Europe. 

Several major accounts include Giant Eagle, Winn Dixie, Shop ‘n Save, Pathmark, and IGA. The company was founded in 1914 as Dunkirk Ice Cream and has been under the current ownership since 2001. Their 280 MSF facility is the largest ice cream plant in the eastern U.S. and produces over 40 million gallons and 1,500 SKU’s per year on its 26 production lines. The company is one of the largest employers in Chautauqua County, New York.

The Challenge

Fieldbrook Foods was experiencing excessive downtime on its round-top cone line, one of its major product offerings. The company recognized that throughput could increase by about 10,000 cases per month just by increasing uptime from 78 percent to 90 percent.

The company also wanted to add a second line due to strong customer demand. Any improvements realized on the existing production line could be incorporated into the new line. 
Not only did this evaluation enable us to substantially reduce downtime on a key product line, it also introduced a repeatable process that can apply on other production lines throughout the facility.
— Steve Vanaskie, Plant Manager

MEP's Role

A joint team from Fieldbrook Foods and Insyte Consulting, part of the MEP National Network, assessed the current situation using various data collection methods and analyses to identify the primary causes of downtime for each piece of equipment. 

An action plan with specific recommendations for each piece of equipment was implemented to achieve the desired rate of uptime and related productivity improvements.

Created June 2, 2020, Updated July 12, 2021