Inside VWG’s Manufacturing Cost Reduction Programme

Cost leaders enjoy competitive advantage. That is always true. But if ever there was a time to focus on cost reduction, it is now. A conflagration of negative economic factors, exacerbated by the recent ratings downgrade, is going to place extreme pressure on disposable income, dampening demand. The simultaneous upward pressure on input costs is Read more about Inside VWG’s Manufacturing Cost Reduction Programme[…]

Common Barriers to Low-Cost Manufacturing

Becoming a cost leader is a natural source of competitive advantage for manufacturers. Lower costs assist commodity producers to undercut their competition on price, while for branded product manufacturers with leverage over price, lower costs can significantly increase margins. Low-cost producers enjoy better cash flows than their more wasteful competitors. Assuming that a business is Read more about Common Barriers to Low-Cost Manufacturing[…]

Key Steps to Sustainable Resource Efficiency Performance

Low-cost manufacturers are not the ones with the lowest staff complements, but those who manage their variable costs effectively. The efficient use of raw materials, energy and water and the minimisation of waste are the hallmarks of cost leaders in the manufacturing sector. The issues are very complex and unless you attack this challenge in Read more about Key Steps to Sustainable Resource Efficiency Performance[…]

The Links between Plant Maintenance and Resource Efficiency

The factors which drive resource efficiency are complex, and include raw material quality, operator work practices, machine settings, process set-points and technology. For a given technology, it is important that machines are operated at design specifications. This requires responsible operation and also means that these machines need to be well cared for. It is a Read more about The Links between Plant Maintenance and Resource Efficiency[…]

How the Collapsing Rand Should Influence Your Approach to Resource Efficiency

While the recent sharp decline in the Rand is expected to introduce significant local economic shockwaves, the reality is that the currency has been depreciating steadily over a long period of time. What are the implications for your resource efficiency strategy and how should you respond? In simple language: “with extreme urgency”. Rand weakness is Read more about How the Collapsing Rand Should Influence Your Approach to Resource Efficiency[…]

Resource Efficiency Breakthroughs Require a Systems Approach

Resource efficiency in the industrial sector is fascinatingly complex. Industrial sites employ a wide variety of materials, resources and processing equipment, all arranged into various systems. There are resource efficiency opportunities to be found among each of the various components in a typical industrial plant, but the truly ground-breaking opportunities are generally found at the Read more about Resource Efficiency Breakthroughs Require a Systems Approach[…]

Using Process-Level Management Systems to Drive Resource Efficiency

Technology is an important tool for maximising the resource efficiency of a manufacturing plant, but even the most efficient technologies require maintenance and management. The optimisation of resource efficiency, like any continuous improvement initiative, requires feedback. Process-level management systems are the key to continuous improvement. There are two major components to a good process-level management Read more about Using Process-Level Management Systems to Drive Resource Efficiency[…]

Does Your Factory Have a Resource Efficiency Strategy?

There are many overlaps between operational excellence, resource efficiency and broader sustainability issues. Improving product quality reduces rework and saves raw materials, energy and water. Sound preventive maintenance programmes improve safety, product quality, reliability and throughput. The elimination of bottlenecks, achieved through structured constraints analysis, increases throughput and reduces idling of machines, reducing energy intensity. Read more about Does Your Factory Have a Resource Efficiency Strategy?[…]

Reaping the Benefits of Drag-out Loss Reduction

The use of process baths for the batch processing of metallic items is common, and brings with it the potential for inefficient resource use, risks to human health and the pollution of water resources. The minimisation of drag-out losses is an important part of any strategy to mitigate these impacts. The types of processes where Read more about Reaping the Benefits of Drag-out Loss Reduction[…]