Bascharage-based LuxPET is also actively involved in recycling, processing the equivalent of 1 billion PET bottles used to manufacture its own plastic bottles.
The company has continued to grow since it was founded and has consequently found itself faced with certain limitations with regards to following the operational management model. “We have experienced a period of rapid growth, and the transition from SME to larger company brought with it certain organisational problems”, explains Jean-Pierre Thomas, manager of Plastipak’s Luxembourg factory. “Our organisation was too reliant upon the knowledge of certain individuals and not enough on established processes”. This, in fact, created a risk of discontinuity and inefficiency in the execution of certain production processes, including some of the most critical, not to mention a rise in product ‘non-quality’ leading to output losses.
Having been involved in the Fit 4 Innovation programme for nearly a year and having benefited from the expertise of an external consultant, LuxPET has notably identified improving quality performance as one of its priorities, but it also needed to support the skills enhancement of its operational management team and the introduction of both a supervisory framework to help the management team and a knowledge management policy on the production floor.
“The diagnosis established by the external consultant confirmed some of the issues we had already been looking at but also identified a number of new factors for consideration. It helped us to express in words the problems we were experiencing, which in turn allowed us to raise awareness among all of our teams”, Mr Thomas explains. “The diagnosis was presented in a very positive way, which allowed us to get the group completely on board with the approach we decided to take”.
The benefits we saw as a result of this approach based on day-to-day monitoring and support for the introduction of the action plan were quantified, which made it possible to reduce non-quality costs by reducing the number of non-compliant pre-forms by over 30% and the technical failure rate by over 20%. “We also significantly increased other performance indicators across our production and logistics departments”, Mr Thomas adds.
The factory manager is clearly very happy with how the Fit 4 Innovation programme has worked on the whole and the good practices that they have been able to implement as a result. “Innovation is important to all of our departments, and this programme has enabled us to create a climate that is conducive to personal initiative and innovation, but that’s a whole state of mind that we need to continue to maintain on a day-to-day basis if we are to continue our quest for excellence”.
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Luxinnovation contributes to the economic development of Luxembourg by fostering innovation, fuelling international growth and attracting foreign direct investment and is supported by: Ministry of the Economy, Ministry for Higher Education and Research, Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, Luxembourg Chamber of Skilled Crafts and FEDIL – The Voice of Luxembourg’s Industry.