How to use Amper for lights-out production and CapEx decisions

Team members
Factory size (ft2)
Number of machines

Company overview

Destaco-Mt. Juliet partnered with Amper back in January 2020. While they primarily used the system to monitor utilization and downtime, the team at Mt. Juliet wanted to explore lights-out production on pallet pool machines to help cut labor costs and increase overall throughput.  

Lights-out production is an approach to manufacturing where no human intervention is required to run a machine for a specific duration of time. Normally, it can be difficult to understand how beneficial adding a lights-out shift is since no one is around to monitor the machines as they run. To get the data you need, it usually requires paying someone to stay overnight to monitor output and track when the machine goes down. This takes time and can often be inaccurate.

However, using Amper’s machine monitoring system, Destaco-Mt. Juliet was able to automatically track the utilization data needed to do this—without the hassle of overtime and extra paperwork.

Key highlights

The Destaco team at Mt. Juliet primarily used Amper to monitor utilization and downtime. However, the team wanted to explore lights-out production to help cut labor costs and increase overall throughput. The team:  

  • Automatically tracked utilization data using Amper, eliminating overtime and paperwork
  • Tested lights-out production with Amper over 8 weeks
  • Found that their machines could maintain solid utilization numbers—providing an extra 4 hours of capacity each day
Amper played a pivotal role in helping us test lights-out production. Because we could collect the data automatically, it saved us time, paperwork and money. That data helped us prove lights-out production could work for us and justified an investment for 2 more machines.

Continuous Improvement Manager

The approach

Here's how they did it:

1) First, the team added a 24-hour shift to Amper (shown below in orange) to see how the machine could perform during lights-out production.

2) Then, they ran one of their pallet pool machines on lights-out production to track utilization.

3) To determine if it was working, they looked at the utilization dashboard week over week. The results showed utilization remained over 80% for the full 24 hour day even with the lights-out production.

4) After that, the team at Mt. Juliet kept the machine running all day and used it as a benchmark to prove the impact of lights-out production.


Destaco-Mt. Juliet tested lights-out production with Amper over 8 weeks. At the end of the 8-week test, they found that their pallet pool machines could maintain solid utilization numbers—giving them an extra 4 hours of capacity each day.

The test proved that lights-out can work on these machines, and moreover, Amper’s system showed them exactly when the machine stopped working overnight.

Armed with this information, the Destaco-Mt. Juliet team began transitioning more production from non-pallet pool machines to pallet pool machines and justified the purchase of two additional pallet pool machines!