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Case Studies / Weetabix

Company Profile 

Weetabix Food Company is the second largest branded manufacturer of cereals and cereal bars in the United Kingdom. The mills at Burton Latimer export to more than 80 countries around the world and for the Weetabix brand all of the wheat is grown within 50 miles of the site. Weetabix also has manufacturing plants around the world, including at its North American division and other locations globally, employing c. 1,800 staff members across the world.

 

Project Summary

The Lauras team supported the Bars business unit at Weetabix in achieving tremendous production improvement through strong employee engagement. The implementation included training and coaching of operators, technicians and front line managers, coupled with a series of impact workshops that had multiple streams of activity.

Results included; improved output by over 50%, reduced waste by 80%, improved product quality and reduced energy usage.

The unit management team, supported by Lauras consultants, played a crucial role in driving the improvement programme forward. They built a detailed improvement plan and set area improvement charters. All personnel were trained in Rapid Lean tools and 3 supported 5-week impact workshops kick started the journey.

The workshops started with training in Rapid Lean improvement tools, followed by operators investigating and fixing problems and helping to ensure good solutions that stuck. Workshop topics included:

  • Optimisation of accumulation and line control
  • Eliminating speed restricting problems
  • Reduction of product weight variation
  • Reduction of waste and giveaway
  • Changeover reduction
  • Implementing a fixed schedule, producing every 2 weeks
  • Reducing Mean Time to Repair (MTTR)
  • Implementing a breakdown investigation system

Alongside the workshops and production improvement activity, daily/weekly/ monthly review processes and associated metrics/scorecards were established.

“With the support of the Lauras team, the Bars business unit has made great strides forward with some exceptional results. It has been gratifying to witness the confidence and capability of the people grow paralleling the rise in plant performance. I look forward with great optimism to the continuing journey and an ongoing partnership with Lauras International”

Mike Parsons, Head of Manufacturing, Weetabix

 

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Testimonials

I assumed that if the machines were running, everything was fine. It has really opened my eyes. Personally, it has given me a new lease of life.

Paul McCarthy, Engineer, Dalehead Foods

Inspiring the people in our business to understand how they can improve and the business can therefore develop, is an important building block in our drive for improving efficiency within our business. Engaging everyone in the business to realise that we can be better and any little improvement drives down to the bottom line. This has been seen both in the way the staff have engaged and enjoyed the experience and the evidence of reduced costs has helped the business to become more efficient. This process never stops but it is the tools that have been developed by Lauras International that has allowed us to deliver this important work at both our potato pack houses.

Fraser Scott, Head of Farming Operations Arable/Potatoes