Manufacturing Strategy for Window Fabricators 10 - Waste (Materials)
Materials waste is estimated to cost UK industry at least £15 billion/year - or some 4.5% of total turnover for the average UK company. This cost can be reduced by at least 1% through simple tools and techniques to easily raise profits.
Waste costs real money that is coming directly off the company profits. A reduction in waste costs by 1% can be the equivalent of increasing sales by over 14%. Internal effort spent on minimising waste can produce benefits equivalent to substantially increased sales. Most fabricators would regard a sales increase of 14% as excellent yet the same benefits can be achieved totally internally and with no risk at all. The only risk is that the competition does it and you do not.
There is a large difference between the visible and the true cost of waste. Direct costs are visible and include waste collection and disposal costs (despite the fact that they are visible these costs are still largely ignored by most companies). The largest portion of the total waste costs are indirect and hidden and we have even developed special code words to make waste appear inevitable and part of the operations. The hidden wastes include:
- Raw material costs.
- Energy consumption.
- Water consumption.
- Effluent generation.
- Factory and office consumables.
- Wasted time and effort.
These costs are not recorded or are not shown as separate items. They exist even for efficient companies and arise whether you like it or not. They are also significant whether you like it or not. After performing simple assessments, many companies have found that their waste costs were more than 20 times higher than their initial estimates!
Reducing materials waste gives:
- Good investment returns and improved profits.
- Protects your image.
- Ensures meeting legal requirements.
The first step is to find some of the waste. Carry out a quick site waste survey to gain an overview of the processes and identify some no-cost or low-cost improvements to save money and reduce costs. After the survey is complete other methods can be used to find more hidden wastes. The survey should be carried out as soon as possible - waste is happening now and it is costing money now. Always look in the skips - it is an excellent starter for locating waste!
The process flow chart gives an overview of the
wastes in the process.
The general waste tracking model for window
Eliminate, reduce, re-use, recycle
In waste minimisation the waste 'hierarchy' is an important tool: first attempt to eliminate the source of waste, then reduce the amount, then re-use any waste that does arise, then recycle the waste and only when these have been eliminated should waste be disposed of. During the site survey always look for opportunities to eliminate the waste rather than simply accept it.
The waste hierarchy
- Avoid product damage by improving storage and handling techniques.
- Record materials content and track any variations.
- Find out where and why scrap is being generated.
- Note: The more you get paid for recycled off-cuts the more you are wasting money. It cost a lot and now you are only getting a pittance for it!
- Re-use any packaging if possible.
- Find ways to minimise packaging use with both suppliers and customers. Packaging is never free - it is always paid for.
- Water is paid for twice - once when it is bought and once when it is disposed of. Reducing the amount bought reduces the amount disposed of.
- Repair all dripping taps and urinals and check for leaks in the water system.
- Make sure hot water is not above 60°C.
- Switch off hot water heaters before holidays.
- Check that the hot water control system is set properly and fit time switches on immersion heaters.
- Fit flush controls to urinal systems and trigger controls to hosepipes.
- Implement no-cost and low-cost methods of improving energy efficiency.
- Monitor utility and packaging usage.
- Service compressors and reduce air leaks in the system.
- Ensure machines are suitable for the process and are maintained regularly.
- Ensure employees are trained and understand the effects of their actions. Employees are vital to the success of waste segregation.
- Make measurements of the material used at each machine and any wastes.
Get free help from the Government from Envirowise (0800 585 794).
The 'Manufacturing Strategy' series is designed to give window fabricators a set of ideas for managing production. The series is being published in Fenestra on a monthly basis and published here after the Fenestra publication. The series is:
Part 1: The Essential Part
Part 2: The Systems
Part 3: Just-in-Time
Part 4: Optimised Production Technology
Part 5: Work Cells
Part 6: Machines
Part 7: Machines (2)
Part 8: Scheduling
Part 9: Waste (Methods)
Part 10: Waste (Materials)
Part 11: Supply Chain
Part 12: Measurement
Part 13: Things to do NOW!
Part 14: The Cost of Quality
Part 15: The Hidden costs of inventory
Part 16: Environmental management
Part 17: Continuous Improvement
Last edited: 21/02/12
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