Reliable Manufacturing helps BASF on the path to world class performance

Top Quote In a bid to deliver world class performance, chemical company, BASF, have begun working with change management consultancy, Reliable Manufacturing. Through an operational excellence programme, they hope to maximise asset utilisation and increase capacity at BASF's Antwerp plant. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) August 05, 2011 - World leading chemical company, BASF, has embarked on an operational excellence programme with change management consultancy, Reliable Manufacturing, to help maximise asset utilisation and increase capacity at its Antwerp plant. The initiative has the potential to save the organisation tens of millions of Euros as part of its drive for world class performance.

    BASF Antwerp is a highly successful operation. 1 billion of capital investment saw dramatic increases in production between 2006 and 2008. When asset utilisation was introduced as a key performance indicator for the worldwide organisation, the Antwerp operation identified the potential for further substantial capacity gains through improved OEE.

    Herman Baets, Technical Governance Manager at the Antwerp plant says a cultural shift was critical for the gains to be realised. "We have always operated at a very high level technically and instinctively we look for a technical solution to problems. Despite this our asset reliability and asset utilisation were still only 'better than average', and we wanted world class. We recognised the solution lay in changing our behaviours and procedures and that is Reliable Manufacturing's area of expertise."

    The change programme began in May with a series of master class workshops focussed on transforming leadership and culture. As a result BASF has set clear targets for both plant slowdown and asset utilisation, with two senior executives assigned specific responsibility for these. It has already started to see results from some of the early process improvements it's been making. For example, the level of unexpected loss from a cooling unit has been reduced from 10% to 5% through the introduction of a few simple measures.

    BASF is the world's leading chemical company, with annual sales of 55-60 billion Euros. It employs around 109,000 employees and has 385 production sites worldwide. The site at Antwerp is the second largest BASF site worldwide, with an annual turnover of more than 5 billion Euros and 3,500 employees.

    BASF Antwerp is setting ambitious targets for the future; with the help of the Reliable Manufacturing programme, it is aiming to reduce unexpected losses and optimise plant shutdowns by the end of 2012 and thus increase capacity by better asset utilisation. Baets says this will convert into considerable savings. He acknowledges buy-in from the top is fundamental. "We are talking about major culture change in a very large operation, which is already very successful, and it will probably take two years to deliver kinetic effect. But our President is 100 per cent on board and that is vital," he concludes.

    About Reliable Manufacturing

    Reliable Manufacturing is a reliability-based change management consultancy, helping global clients from a wide variety of industrial sectors realise superior business results.

    We are specialists in delivering performance improvement through the implementation of operations and maintenance best practices, which facilitate organisational cultural change. Our pragmatic approach delivers improved asset availability, reduced operating costs, improved HSE performance and increased employee motivation and satisfaction.

    Change is delivered through tailored programmes, and we work at all levels of client organisations to equip the leadership and engage staff in the practices, systems and behaviours that assure outstanding operational performance.

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