Waste Minimisation in Glass Processing - Part 4
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Improving performance to reduce waste in any company means changing ‘the way we do things around here’ and the best process is to use some ‘fast starts’ to convince people that it is worth the effort.
A typical 5 step process is:
1. Gather the information.
Information is needed to find the ‘fast starts’ in the business. Gather the information available in the company (see last month’s article) before starting to prioritise the ‘fast starts’
- Tip - Take photographs of waste and where it is being produced. These will show where waste is, and help in future comparisons.
2. Identify the priorities
Using the information, find some major sources of waste and identify the priority areas. These may be the largest quantities or the highest net costs. It is best to focus on areas with the largest financial savings and where there are practical ideas for making changes.
In one day you should be able to identify potential actions to make ‘fast start’ savings and to put them in order of priority.
3. Make the first savings
Make a ‘fast start’ action plan. The plan should involve the ‘front line’ staff because they have first hand knowledge of the processes and know the ways to make them better. The action plan should include some simple measuring systems to quantify the results.
Start the plan and regularly review progress against the aims.
4. Measure the savings
Use the measuring systems to demonstrate quantified savings and record the measurements for reference.
5. Achieve more savings
Carry out progress reviews to provide evidence that waste reduction is worth the commitment and effort. Use the evidence to extend the operations.
- Tip - Take photographs to record the changes.
Improving performance is not a ‘quick technology fix’. It is a continuous process of attention to detail and holding the gains.
- Set performance benchmarks that are directly related to production efficiency.
- Carry out quality checks at critical stages to prevent further processing of rejects.
- Monitor the cost of processing defects.
Delivery and storage
- Use 'Just-In-Time' delivery to minimise storage time and damage.
- Develop delivery quality checks to improve the quality of glass used and reduce defects/breakages.
- Measure all breakage in deliveries and charge back to the supplier.
- Increase the stillage size to reduce space and number of glass lifts.
- Maintain stillages at an angle of 50 or 60.
- Use battens to optimise storage conditions and avoid glass damage.
- Keep storage areas free of water leaks and dust to reduce staining.
- Set aggressive improvement targets for glass utilisation that are relevant to your business.
- Fully optimise cutting to minimise waste - do not stop optimising at the first ‘acceptable’ result.
- Check for any surface and edge defects before cutting.
- Check the accuracy of the ‘squareness’ of cutting equipment.
- Box in cutting tables so that cullet does not fall underneath them. Contaminated cullet decreases in value and is often disposed of rather than recycled.
- Catalogue and store significant off-cuts for future use.
Glass handling and processing
- Use tracking systems to identify glass by batch. If a batch causes preventable process waste, this will allow the batch to be quarantined and prevent further wastage.
- Stack glass correctly to avoid problems with de-stacking.
- Ensure that the correct lifts and equipment are used for lifting and maneuvering glass from delivery vehicles to factory storage areas.
- Maintain racks with unworn felt/rubber padding and set at the correct angle, i.e. 30.
- Collect waste flat, float and clean glass separately from other glass types and contaminants (e.g. wood and metals) for recycling.
- Collect coated, coloured and laminated glasses separately for recycling.
- Increase the size of the glass blocks to reduce the amount of timber end-cap.
Washing and finishing
- Ensure that the water supply to washing and finishing machines is turned on only when needed.
- Use reverse flow cleaning-in-place for glass washing. This allows demineralised water to be recycled and reduces water usage and effluent generation.
- Install conductivity monitors to check water quality and maximise recycling.
- Ensure that all machinery is well-maintained and clean to reduce mistakes, accidents and breakage.
- Assign machines to operators to increase operator ownership.
- Train staff to handle glass and end-products correctly to avoid bruising, scratching and damage.
- Lay out production areas to optimise material flow logistics. This reduces both the potential for breakage and the time taken to move the product.
The "Waste Minimisation in Glass Processing" series is designed to give glass processors an insight into how to minimise wasting valuable resources. The series is being published in Glass Age on a monthly basis and published here after the Glass Age publication. The series is:
Part 1: The Business Reasons
Part 2: A Waste Walk Around and Action Plan
Part 3: Assessing Performance
Part 4: Improving Performance (This Section)
Part 5: Waste Minimisation Tools
Download the complete series as an Adobe Acrobat file.
Last edited: 11/03/10
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