Why Cycle Count Matters and Why We Share Ours

By John Anspach, VP of Operations

You’ve heard us talk about “cycle count.” This number is a tool used to gauge how efficient and consistent we are when making paint.

Each time a batch is made, technicians perform a battery of tests to ensure it matches the formula and meets qualifications for viscosity, solids and flow. If it’s just right the first time, the cycle count is zero. If something is even a tiny bit off, the batch goes back to our technicians and is adjusted. Testing is then repeated until the paint matches the qualifications exactly.

Each adjustment adds a number to the count. One adjustment equals a cycle count of 1, and so on. We take the average number of adjustments to get our cycle count. You can see why you would want to keep this number low:

  • Cycle count is a measure of quality control. While a low number isn’t technically making money, a high number is hurting efficiency.
  • If you adjust a cycle a couple of times, this could hold production up 3-4 hours. That’s money lost.
  • Increased efficiency means you don’t have to add more equipment or people for the time being.
  • Most importantly, getting the mix right the first time means a consistent product for our customers.

In our industry, you will hear the term vary from “batch adjustment cycles” to “cycles” to “adjustments per batch.” Many times this is an internal measurement that isn’t often shared.  It may relate to distressed or problem batches in some camps, and that often makes the number more proprietary.

At Induron, we place a lot of emphasis on our cycle count. It is monitored daily and weekly, then tabulated monthly. Quarter results impact internal awards.

We shout our numbers from the rooftops because in an industry where a 2 adjustment average is considered good, we are often less than 0.2. That means only 1 out of every 5 batches needs adjusting. We are proud of the consistent work our team produces, knowing it translates to the people who buy our paint.

We are very proud that our 4th quarter 2014 cycle count result was 0.15 adjustment cycles per batch. Here are the numbers for recent years:

2014 — 0.16

2013 — 0.15

2012 — 0.16

2011 — 0.19

Founded in 1947, Induron manufactures high performance coatings that serve a range of industrial applications, including the wastewater, transmission and distribution and groundwater storage industries. 

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