At our AB Stadex production location in Malmö, Sweden, an improvement project was recently completed in the HSD (Hot Soluble Department). We spoke to Roger Riesbeck, Improvement Technician at AB Stadex, about collaboration and the role of the WCOM program.
Right in the center of Malmö, approximately 70 employees work on the production of starch derivatives from potatoes, maize and cassava fl our. “We saw an opportunity to produce more volume of potato starch derivatives within the HSD in a more stable way. That was the mission. Subsequently, a multidisciplinary team was assembled based on the WCOM methodology,” says Roger. “This method provides detailed insight into a complex process.”
“After the team was complete, we started looking at the entire HSD production line to identify where the bottlenecks were as our KPIs (key performance indicators) were not met. After careful measurements and data collection of, among other Roger Riesbeck, Improvement Technician things, stop times and transport times, we knew that the centrifuges were the cause. Within that framework, we looked at what we needed to improve in order to achieve the goal. In the end, the problem turned out to be in the air supply filters of the centrifuges. These had to be replaced.
Thanks to the WCOM method, we were 100% sure of the cause of the problem. The team maps the entire process by constantly measuring, collecting data and testing. Establishing a baseline is very important because it is the only way to see whether you are achieving a desired result when making changes.
Roger: “Perhaps even more important is that everyone feels involved in the process. We are in constant consultation within the team and beyond. Everyone knows where they stand. Let’s not forget that in addition to all machines, our operators also play a crucial part in production. All the more important to start a conversation and to be open to suggestions. This way you can get crucial insights that might have been overlooked. Keep talking and stay honest and respectful in communication and discussions with each other. Everyone should feel heard and part of the team. Data and measurements are indispensable, but so are the insights of colleagues.”