Chameleon Color Cards, Ltd.

Setup Reduction


  • 85% reduction in machine idle time - machine downtime due to changeover decreased, on average, from 457 minutes to 70 minutes
  • The operator time spent on changeover reduced from 457 minutes, using a single operator, to 140 minutes using two operators.
  • Averaging three setups per week, the total annual machine capacity is increased by 967.5 hours.
  • The reduction in setup time allows operations more flexibility in scheduling these limited resources.
  • Utilizing a two operator setup, this new procedure enhances the ability to cross train operators in best practices of changeover.
  • The facilitation and training of Insyte Consulting allowed for the transfer of setup reduction skills to Chameleon personnel for use on other pieces of equipment.


Chameleon Color Cards, Ltd., located in Lockport NY, is a manufacturer of color chips for the paint, automotive and related industries. Established in 1992, the company operates in a relatively modern facility, on a two shift basis with 47 employees.


Chameleon Color Cards, Ltd. receives raw material in the form of printed cards and coated paper. The coated paper is cut to precise sizes and is then adhered to specific locations on the printed card by means of a semi-automatic machine. Chameleon currently has a limited number of these application machines. The capacity of these limited resources is constrained by the amount of time spent changing the tooling of these machines from one order to the next. Recognizing the importance of improving its competitive position, Chameleon participated in a Value Stream Mapping exercise with Insyte Consulting to detect areas for improvement. The exercise demonstrated that an effective setup reduction program would help to both increase throughput and improve overall operational efficiency.


Chameleon Color Cards, Ltd. contracted with Insyte Consulting to assist in the setup reduction project through formalized training and facilitation of implementation changeover improvements on these application machines.

A formal setup reduction training workshop, focusing on these application machines, was conducted by Insyte Consulting on site. Next, a team consisting of a cross-section of Chameleon staff and headed by Insyte Consulting was established. The goals and responsibilities of this team were set to significantly reduce the time spent in changing these machines from one order to the next.

With the mission and goals established, the team started by defining the current situation both in terms of procedures used and time spent on the "average" setup. They generated changeover observation charts and categorized elements into three areas (preparation, removal and installation, trial run and adjustments), to be used in prioritizing the improvement suggestions. They then developed a detailed setup analysis chart and identified potential improvements. A goal of 42% improvement was established (Note: the actual improvement was 85%). Team members prioritized improvements to revise the current procedure allowing for some changeover elements to be completed while the machine is running. They consolidated and rewrote the procedures incorporating two operators. Next they implemented, measured and standardized the new procedures.

In addition to the immediate changes to the procedures and the use of a second operator to decrease the idle time of the equipment, the team identified other changes that are being pursued. These include: modification of the application machines to further reduce the setup time and make the operation of the equipment more reliable; revision to plates and fixtures for high volume orders; changes to grinding equipment that is used on the tooling after the order has been filled, in order to insure the tooling is within specification; utilizing a more exact method of modifying tooling once it has been mounted on the application machine.

The successful completion of this project, within an eleven week time frame, was obtained by 1) Insyte Consulting's facilitation of weekly team meetings, 2) management's role of focusing the team's attention on the details and goals of the project and 3) Enhancing communication both within the team as well as outside operators.

"Insyte Consulting was instrumental in facilitating the setup reduction project. We fully intend to rely on Insyte Consulting for further training as we continue our journey to lean." - Cathy Lattanzio, Operations Manager