Separating technology and compaction machines have achieved zero waste to landfill in operation

Trivium Packaging has partnered with Mil-tek at its factory to implement lean methodology beyond the production line and achieve zero waste to landfill.

Trivium Packaging manufactures metal packaging to help leading brands protect their products and stand out on store shelves. One of the key cultures in its Nottinghamshire plant is to push for lean manufacturing. The goal of this latest project was to help bring the company to ‘zero-waste-to-landfill’, to help deliver on its environmental credentials.

As part of the assembly of the product, components are brought in, all packaged in paper, cardboard boxes, shrink wrap and plastic banding. This resulted in a large amount of ancillary waste that goes along with the actual product that they use in manufacture. And within production, operators were also having to use forklift trucks to move waste from A to B, which resulted in piles of waste being left out on the production line for collection, as well as a lot of fork truck activity.

This was an ongoing concern as the plant was always looking to reduce any pedestrian/fork truck interaction.

Although operators were tasked with keeping the working area clean, they were often obliged to either leave the production line to deal with the continuous flow of waste or allow it to pile up in the work area. Not being on the line also meant that they were not executing their core functionalities.

The Safety Team at Trivium brought in Mil-tek to address this challenge. To do this, Mil-tek ran value stream mapping on the entire plant to observe operator movements and functions. Recognising the lean manufacturing culture at the plant, they showed how the existing ideology of 5S could extend beyond its production line.

The value stream mapping revealed that during a typical shift, each operator would leave the production line over 10 times and walk 300 metres across fork truck routes outside to a waste container.

While the production line itself was extremely lean focused, the journey time away from the production line was demonstrably wasteful and eliminating this process was key to addressing the overall issue. Mil-tek therefore showed how pneumatic waste separating technology could be used to handle the ancillary waste at source, thereby eliminating the travel time and eradicating the mess.

The fact that the solutions were pneumatic meant that they could be installed and connected with relative ease.

The compaction equipment provided by Mil-tek reduced volumes by on average 10:1, reducing the need for external trips to remove the packaging by the same ratio. The machinery was installed and powered by the compressed air line already in place in the factory, which meant they could be installed around the factory in their ideal locations. Having no electrical or hydraulic components, they can be installed on the production line to maximise efficiency.

The deployment of the proposed solution has had a significant impact: double-digit journeys per shift fell to just one per month.

An exercise in 5S had become something more significant, with added benefits: operators were leaner, accident-risk was reduced, and waste costs began to fall.

Since the initial success and wider roll-out, the Mil-tek solution has been adopted in six locations around the plant, helping Trivium get nearer to achieving zero waste to landfill.

What started as a plan to reduce unsightly waste has led to cost reduction, improved efficiency, reduced carbon footprint, fewer forklift truck movements, fewer waste trucks on the premises, and more satisfied operators.

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