validus management consultancy UK

Food & Drinks Case Study

Bottle supplier

Problem elimination
leading to improved customer satisfaction and avoidance of major capital expenditure


A global supplier of bottles for the drinks industry


  • Ultra-low frequency failure of PET blown bottles on customers filling lines (in the range of one in 100,000) were creating filling line downtime and high levels of customer dissatisfaction
  • Such was the level of customer dissatisfaction that the PET bottle supplier was 100% hand inspecting their supply at a cost of around 20 FTE


  • Formed a joint project team to carry out detailed, structured analysis of the problem, data capture and structured problem solving
  • Created a 'failures database' to enable identification of root causes
  • Structured analysis and problem solving revealed that five independent low-frequency events needed to coincide simultaneously to create the localised weakness known as a "poly-fold."
  • Once the five independent issues were identified a series of engineering solutions were put in place to eliminate the poly-folds permanently


  • The problem was eliminated with no capital expenditure
  • In addition, a capital expenditure for optical quality checking of the bottles was averted saving £50,000 per machine, on 230 machines worldwide, giving a capital expenditure avoidance of £11.5 million.
  • A detailed problem hierarchy was documented to share the understanding of the root causes with the global team and to avoid recurrence.
  • A series of problem solving workshops followed this pilot work to transfer this approach to the other client teams