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Case Studies / Largo Foods

Company Profile

largofoodSince the company was established in 1983 in Ashbourne, County Meath, Largo Foods has celebrated considerable growth, acquiring a number of respected brands; Tayto, King and Hunky Dorys. Largo Foods is the largest manufacturer on the island with a turnover in excess of €90 million largely derived from a number of private label business contracts with large retailers in the UK market, including Tesco and Morrison’s.

 

Project Summary

At the start of 2008, under the supervision of Largo Foods’ General Manager John Donnelly, the manufacturing site in Gweedore embarked on a journey of continuous improvement. Lauras International was invited to support the programme, ensuring integration across the site in order to deliver rapid and sustainable results. Identifying opportunities to improve is seemingly difficult in a site, like Gweedore, that was already performing well. Lauras International’s approach was to assess the size of opportunity available through a detailed assessment of manufacturing processes. This comprehensive understanding of the operational framework already in place enabled them to correctly identify and apply a range of lean based tools to optimise resources for every line. The next step was to appoint and train an onsite Continuous Improvement Champion to collate and analyse site performance data which could be used to inform an improvement agenda.

The Gweedore site had already recognised the importance of measuring plant productivity, efficiency and lost downtime and had a spreadsheet system in place. But whilst spreadsheets proved the ideal way to start inputting vital plant statistics, analysis of the data was proving both time consuming and complicated. Furthermore, deploying an international standard performance measure, OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness), would enable Largo Foods to highlight improvement opportunities by compounding the effects of availability, performance and quality losses on a day to day basis. Therefore, under the guidance of Lauras, Largo Foods implemented Idhammar’s low cost OEE analysis package to replace their spreadsheets.

 

Results

The Idhammar OEE System was implemented in February 2008 with installation and technical assistance from Idhammar Systems and project management and training services provided by Lauras International. This successful project enabled the easy input of data, and with powerful drill down analysis on the basis of product, shift and plant, Idhammar OEE identifies top losses of efficiency which drive Largo Foods’ Improvement Agenda. As well as providing vital operational data to inform day to day processes, the system also establishes trends over weeks and months in order to support the long-term hands on improvement cycle at Largo Foods.

Largo Foods is already achieving quantifiable financial savings and has plans in place to ensure ongoing waste reduction, increases in capacity and improvements in efficiency.

“We are pleased with the progress we’re making at the Gweedore site, indeed we’re so pleased that we’re planning to roll out the programme to our other manufacturing sites.”

John Donnelly, General Manager, Largo Foods, Ireland

 

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Testimonials

"I am amazed at what has been achieved in 5 weeks. I'm very impressed that such an approach can make fundamental changes in a mature environment with a lot of closed thinking. I am now totally convinced..., and will support the rollout across all the businesses under my control"

Supply Chain Director, Asia Pacific, major Multinational Food & Beverage Company

Firstly, Reckitt Benckiser and Lauras pulled together to improve efficiency levels and there was a focus on both external and internal resources. Before Lauras arrived efficiency was not good. Secondly, there was good methodology and training using operators to support its implementation. Thirdly, there was daily and hourly focusing on performance. Since Lauras left, improvements have been sustained.

Bart Derde, Supply Projects Director (Europe), Reckitt Benckiser