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wear points before they can contribute to
Without these changes, one multinational
food processing company found that its quality
control was rejecting comparatively high margin food products, which were subsequently
reprocessed into animal feed. In this instance,
improved consistency ultimately reduced the
need to reprocess food by 44 percent.
3. Substandard Cleanliness and
Concerns about low yields in highly competitive markets have made it difficult for
some manufacturers to focus adequately on
cleanliness and safety. In many cases, the
cleaning crew is made up of the newest,
least-trained and lowest-paid employees
who work night shifts when supervision is
minimal. Though this approach may suffice
for many years, one contamination incident
can cost companies millions of dollars in
scrapped product or product recalls.
Training and standardized sanitation practices can go a long way toward avoiding large
amounts of rejected food resulting from food
safety issues. In one organization, time spent
working with the production team to improve
and accelerate sanitation practices during
line changeovers opened quite a few eyes.
Despite their best efforts to improve the sanitation process, the team continued to identify
trace amounts of bacteria in food products.
A special Kaizen team determined that
the corners of a food chute that were very
difficult to clean were contributing to food
contamination. They developed a simple
equipment design change that straightened
out the edges of the foot chutes. As a result,
sanitation processes went more quickly and
food was no longer becoming contaminated.
The result was less food waste, better yield
(lower costs) and improved productivity.
Coupled with layered audits and uniform
training across shifts, standard work helps
ensure that employees follow designated
procedures. When standard work is combined with Kaizen events, improved standard
cleaning procedures can be introduced and
sustained, increasing the effectiveness and
efficiency of cleaning processes associated
with product changeovers and line startups.
To address the causes of food and pack-
aging waste at a systemic level, managers
need a set of relevant and clearly aligned per-
formance goals, such as scrap and yields, to
ensure that improvements are prioritized and
sustained. A lean-based management system
can pull everything together by providing
the management processes for developing a
strategy, translating it into operational actions
and monitoring progress.
By taking some of these steps, food companies can move toward the sustainable ideal
of doing well by doing good — reducing
waste while improving yields and enlisting
the creativity and pride of the workforce, and
pointing toward a stronger future.
About the Author:
Keith Yeater, Vice President – Consumer
Products, Food & Beverage at TBM
Consulting, is an expert in business transformation. He has helped many companies
achieve operations excellence through his
ability to build teams and coach high-poten-tial associates. Prior to joining TBM, Keith
served as Vice President of Operations for
STAHL/Scott Fetzer Company where he
implemented lean manufacturing processes
and built the foundation for a sustainable
lean culture. He also served as Director of
Operations for Ashland Operations, a Pentair
Company. At TBM, Keith works with senior
executives at client companies helping
them to successfully execute their strategic objectives through the use of Strategy
Deployment (Hoshin Kanri) and ensures that
their continuous improvement initiatives are
clearly aligned to strategic initiatives and key
performance measures. He can be reached
at email@example.com u
By taking some of
these steps, food
companies can move
toward the sustain-
able ideal of doing
well by doing good.