Chemical manufacturers are increasingly required to develop niche products for specific markets, modified to exacting customer needs.
Large multinationals, for example, may customize hundreds of products, altering composition, concentration, viscosity, gravity, and other characteristics to suit requirements for a number of diverse industries. While specialty chemicals offer higher margins than commodity goods, the increased agility and responsiveness required come with a price.
The pursuit of agility and the means to achieve it within the chemical industry frequently runs into common production problems from big-batch mindset to equipment reliability, EHS problems and more. Any of these issues can derail efforts to achieve operational excellence and agility.
“What do you need to achieve? What’s the best approach? And how is it adapted so that you achieve success in creating a sustainable new process?”
Fortunately, all of these common production problems share a common solution, a proven performance system that leverages daily management activities to surface and resolve issues. An effective performance system encourages frontline employees to take on broader roles in problem-solving by improving communication, collaboration, and trust. It increases equipment reliability — and returns on expensive capital investments — via daily and predictive maintenance.
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Implementing a holistic improvement system — i.e., the Milliken Performance System (MPS) — helps chemical manufacturers to transform their operations and become more agile, productive, and profitable. MPS is an improvement platform, capable of delivering short-term performance gains even as the system is implemented.
At some chemical companies, MPS fills a management void; at others, it is assimilated to address gaps in an existing system. The real power is the ability to generate substantial returns as the system expands across a manufacturing plant and the organization by those within the company.
Performance Solutions practitioners help chemical executives to better leverage their existing technologies, engage all employees to remove the wastes and costs, and create the more flexible operations they seek. Practitioners also have helped chemical organizations in developing process flow maps that optimize scheduling and operations well beyond the plant floor — receipt of orders, supplier and production scheduling, logistics, etc.