PICME, the Process Industries Centre for Manufacturing Excellence, has helped UCB Films at Wigton, UK, reduce its waste material bill by a six figure sum and also set its sights on doubling these savings through next year. A PICME benchmarking exercise had highlighted an accepted level of waste that UCB management was determined to probe and review.

The Wigton site, primarily known for its production of Cellophane film, employs 372 people and its turnover is £36M. The method of manufacturing including levels of waste – has been established since the 1930s. UCB used its masterclass to review and improve these methods by applying several workplace organization techniques.

“PICME helped us challenge and re-examine our accepted performance norms,” says works manager Richard Story. “It also helped us to implement the necessary changes to lift our capability.” The company is now committed to rolling out the new methodology across the whole site.

In addition to the cost saving benefits of such work, UCB says it will also help meet the ever increasing hygiene needs of the company’s customer base. And further savings could derive from the masterclass team’s new control system ­ currently under trial ­ designed to eliminate the most excessive of over-width rolls.

PICME has been charged by the British Government to add £120M to the profitability

of the UK process manufacturing sector in redundant cost over the next five years. Half way through its first term it has already achieved savings of some £55M for its clients in increased productivity and reduced cost.

More from Mark Lewis, at PICME, on +44 (0)1642 430021. Email: enquiries@picme.org