Key tools or services
Value Stream Mapping, Overall Equipment Effectiveness, Lean Management, Benchmarking
The whole experience of working with the picme® team and introducing new ways of working has been very invigorating. In particular, with the Value Stream Mapping process, people from right across the company have been involved. By bringing in an external company to work with us [picme®] we immediately achieved a greater focus from the senior management who were prepared make time to implement the new techniques
Richard Greenock, Production Manager, Baker Petrolite
An array of performance tools were implemented by us when we were invited to work with the management team at Baker Petrolite's manufacturing facility in Hartlepool. The overall aim was to boost operational performance by reducing costs, driving up Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) and instilling a culture of continuous improvement across all aspects of the business.
Baker Petrolite operates at the sharp end of the ultra-competitive global manufacturing industry and has established itself as a world leader in providing chemical, engineering and technology solutions to the global hydrocarbon recovery and processing industries. It works with clients in oil and gas production, pipeline transportation, refining, petrochemical and utilities.
The pressure to be more competitive and make less do more is always apparent. Baker Petrolite were committed to improving productivity and driving cost out of their business.
Our initial work at the plant involved benchmarking its operations against 25 other similar sized companies in the chemical manufacturing industry. Based on the findings of this benchmarking assessment, we recommended a productivity Masterclass to be undertaken. The Masterclass comprised of a multi-functional team led by us and employed a number of methods - all with a lean manufacturing focus - including visual management, error proofing and logical problem solving aimed at improving plant performance.
Results from the Masterclass included a reduction in cycle time of 4-6 hours and an improvement in Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE), mainly in the areas of availability and performance.
Building on the findings of the Masterclass, and in order to gain an understanding of any other potential areas for improvement, the plant embarked on a Value Stream Mapping (VSM) activity. VSM is a tool to help see and understand the flow of material and information as a product makes its way through the value stream.
Again, we were invited to provide leadership and expertise as part of this process and, crucially, the site management team was involved in the work.
The introduction of picme® at Baker Petrolite has proved to be a major success story, providing a catalyst at the plant to make the kind of positive, ongoing changes which will be required to ensure the plant remains competitive in global markets, now and in the future.
Also crucial was the softly-softly approach of the picme® team. "Rather than pushing us into doing things we were unfamiliar with, they were always there to encourage us to realise the undoubted benefits of what they were trying to achieve," says Richard Greenock, Production Manager.
The Value Stream Mapping exercise for us was very interesting. Value Stream Mapping is a very powerful tool and will highlight the relative weaknesses of any process. In this case it was information flow and planning decision making processes. It also reinforced the work of the Masterclass by emphasising that having reliable repeatable processes is the foundation of being a world beating company. And the Hartlepool site of Baker Petrolite is well on the way to being one!
Russell Page, picme® Lead Engineer
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