Manufacturing History: Aluminium foil rolling - Thinner, faster, wider
Noranda Aluminum Holding Corp. - A passion for Productivity
The company uses its CORE program (“Cost Out, Reliability and Effectiveness”), a project-based framework to control costs, de-bottleneck capacity constraints and improve reliability at the company’s production facilities.
Noranda’s CORE projects fall into three broad categories. The first is the do-it-better category – small-scope process changes that require little or no capital. For example, smelter engineers increased the size of the anodes in one of the smelters three pot lines from 61 inches to 63 inches. This change required essentially no capital. The benefit was reduced voltage, increased amperage and $1 million in annualized savings.
Second is the better-tools category – projects requiring modest capital, and provide employees with additional tools to either drive out costs or improve operational reliability and effectiveness. In one of its rolling mill facilities, for example, the company installed an internally developed graphite-spray system. The new system improved quality, improved reliability and reduced graphite usage, generating more than $100,000 of savings in its first quarter of operations.
Third are major projects that require meaningful capital and extend over several quarters or years. An example: a $2.5 million project to replace a piece of equipment that slits larger pieces of foil to allow for processing into thinner material. This slitter project allowed that facility to meet the needs of certain product groups, which it previously could not serve in a cost-effective manner.
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