C.H. Guenther

How C.H. Guenther Reduced Production Downtime

Boost Asset Performance Digital Work Instructions & Troubleshoots

About C.H. Guenther

C.H. Guenther is a large food manufacturer operating for over 150 years. Their Pioneer Frozen Foods plant in South Carolina started operations in 2002 and employs over 200 people. The facility has four main lines producing dry mixes, doughs, pancakes, and cinnamon rolls.

Modernizing Their Operations

Before Poka, the Pioneer plant workers communicated mostly over radio or face-to-face conversations. Workers didn’t have access to tech devices on the shop floor. This created many inefficiencies due to limited visibility and often led to issues simply slipping through the cracks.

With Poka, their workforce now had access to iPads on the shop floor. Pictures and videos of issues replaced informal lunchtime conversations and radio chatter. Having supportive media helps the maintenance team quickly solve problems with fewer headaches.

By The Numbers

C.H. Guenther Usage Statistics






Forms Completed


Training Opportunities

Eliminating a Recurring Line Issue with Calls for Help

The team at C.H. Guenther had a recurring event on one of their lines where the product wasn’t being correctly deposited into the packaging. The issue was causing regular three-minute minor stops as the team struggled to fix it. While three minutes doesn’t sound like a lot, they estimated it added up to approximately 40 hours in lost production time over a year.

With Poka, they created a call for help, including a video showcasing what was going on. Making the issue visible to everyone brought the problem to the attention of one of the maintenance heads, who suggested adjusting a particular setting that the workers don’t usually look at. This fixed the issue for good.

“We have since updated the troubleshooting guide, and I don’t recall seeing this issue show up again in our calls for help because the operators now have all the information they need to fix it themselves,” said Tim Anngelici, Engineering Manager. “The new troubleshooting guide has helped us permanently solve this issue.”

Using Standard Work to Avoid Downtime Events

The South Carolina plant had a new workstation but only a few employees had received the necessary training so far. With vacations and unforeseen sick leave, there came a day when no available employee had the required knowledge to operate the new workstation.

They overcame this issue by assigning an untrained employee and providing them access to the workstation’s standard work instructions through Poka. Within one hour, the employee produced a batch that met standards. What could have been four or more hours of downtime was dramatically reduced.

Lessons Learned

Tim shared a few lessons learned for anyone who wants to leverage Poka at their plant. His main takeaways are

  • Perfection is counterproductive—it’s better to have 200 good standard work instructions than 20 perfect ones;

  • Be customer-focused—in this case, the customers are your employees;

  • Don’t waste your employee’s time; keep it short and sweet—create to-the-point videos and work instructions;

  • Poka is very agile—once it’s set up, keep improving material and adding content.

If you decide you want to go with Poka and you’re going to do it, just do it. Put the resources in place and get it done.


Tim Angelici

Engineering Manager

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