Management at one of McCain Foods’ processing plants in Timaru, New Zealand, has found over 100 opportunities for improvement in its logistics following a two day “energy blitz” from employees.
Production Manager Sonny Quilliam explains the thinking behind the move, with energy efficiency being key to the facility’s operations. “We’d picked all the low hanging fruit through previous work but we needed ideas to generate more energy and water saving opportunities. We knew they were there but we needed to shine a light on possibilities.”
Twenty people from all areas of the facility that produces 146,000 tonnes of chips annually took part, from management to factory floor workers. The team scoured every area of the plant, resulting in a spreadsheet of 113 viable ideas designed to improve logistical efficiency.
Ideas at the top of this list include the optimisation of refrigeration systems, recycling heated water and fixing general leaks.
“Completing the prioritised projects will reduce energy and water use and save thousands of dollars a year,” Quilliam continued. “This frees up energy and water for the local community and allows us greater freedom to invest back in the business.”
Research exercises like this can be greatly beneficial to businesses, with the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority quoting that firms can save up to 20% on energy costs with smarter energy use.