The chocolate manufacturer Ludwig Weinrich GmbH & Co. KG from Herford produces high-quality chocolate for 100 years. 260 employees manage 23.000t per year and achieve a turnover of about 100 million euros. The chocolate is delivered to trade chains, discounters and dealers in 42 countries.
Because of the previous time- and labour intensive disposal solution – during a ‘Gemba Project‘(a project where employees restructure their workplace regarding to lean-management) they got the idea of saving at this point ‘disposal‘ time and labour expenses.
Material to be disposed of
The raw material which is needed for producing chocolate is delivered on pallets. Milk powder comes packed in paper sacks and hazelnuts in film sacks. For example bubble wrap is used to protect the nuts against damage. Cardboard-sheets and stretch film is further packaging material. The amount of material is 270t per year which is devided in 132t cardboard, 43t film and 96t paper sacks.
In the prodcution each three roll containers were distributed at several places. The staff always brought the occuring material to these places. In each shift the forklift driver collected the filled roll containers and brought them (in all weathers) outside.
Afterwards a tilting device was set on the forklift and the roll containers were dumped into the waste compactors for paper, film and residual waste. The dirty roll containers needed to be cleaned before brought back in the production. This procedure took per shift and collection about 2 and 3 hours.
The first approach was to reduce walking routes of the employees and thereby labour input and labour time. From the beginning order and cleanliness were important. As soon as the employees had less time for the disposal the collecting containers were filled up very fast in the previous solution. In total eleven balers are placed inside the factory, regardless weather conditions. The balers create order and cleanliness and the employees are very satisfied with the handling.
Savings of 92% manpower
The balers are placed in a way that staff reaches the place of installation by the shortest route. The material gets collected in these balers. Now every second or third day one bale is being picked, before the forklift driver had to collect the material time- and cost-intensive three times a day for two hours. The forklift driver got new tasks because the balers facilitate his work and the disposal is less time-intensive.
Opinion of the customer
Mr. Kamphowe, Plant Manager says: ‘Suddenly having revenues by marketing the bales was an eyeopener for us. Now we sell our bales. Due to these revenues the project became that interesting that we adapted the balers in the testing department to the whole factory. Now eleven balers are placed on different floors in the Herford factory.The Strautmann salesman advised us very well and took us to refence customers. He told us about the right size of machinery and the differences in the compaction of cardboard and film. Moreover he calculated all costs and revenues of the project. This was that plausible that we immediately presented it to our management and got immediately the ‘go!‘. The project was conclusive and the figures matched.
It became a huge showcase at Weinrich and also at ‘Gemba‘. The disposal solution with balers is a new thing and one of the most successful projects – a highlight.‘