Measuring Scrap Rates Does Not Have To Be Rocket Science

Just like downtime, scrap rates are also a nightmare for every factory, especially in the packaging industry. Even though they can vary considerably from manufacturer to manufacturer, if we take a look to in-line production facilities, scrap rates of 15-25% are seen as normal. All of this means that, for every 4 hours of production, the company is throwing away material, energy and equipment time. Factories make a constant effort every day, to try to reduce the amount of waste produced. The most difficult part of all, is when the only reliable information you own is spreaded over sheets of paper.

Even though the majority of the equipment has incorporated counters for waste, there are not that many companies which collect data automatically that convert into useful information to be applied afterwards. All in all, they end up depending on manual inputs which are the greatest enemy of reliable information.

We present you with 5 different ways of measuring your factory’s scrap, from manual to digital ones. This will give you an idea of which option could be the best for you. Click on the dots of the image to see which ways you have to measure the scrap of your factory.


The scrap is calculated by the amount of raw material consumed minus the production made.


To measure by end-of-shift deadline, all scrap produced is gathered in a specific sector and then counted or (more often) weighed and pointed by shift, without distinction of which part of the process occurred. When measuring per machine, the scrap is separated by machine, allowing us to identify where the greatest source of losses is.


At the end of each PO, the operator must empty all the scrap containers in the production line and point at the ERP or a data sheet production. Usually, an assistant accomplishes this task, which takes away some of the operator’s awareness of how much refuse has been produced.


At each full hour the scrap should be counted and pointed. Very laborious and only recommended in cases where a dedicated team is available.


Possible with IoT or MES analytics systems. IoT systems are generally fast to deploy and have relatively low costs but are generally not fully integrated with material handling systems. MES Systems are projects that end up including a consultation and involve every company, as it usually involves relevant investments in hardware and implementation consulting.

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