Chemical incentives

The Process Industries Centre for Manufacturing Excellence is sponsoring a new initiative to encourage and reward manufacturing improvement by UK chemicals companies.

The Process Industries Centre for Manufacturing Excellence, PICME, is sponsoring a new initiative to encourage and reward manufacturing improvement by UK chemicals companies.

All UK chemical plants are eligible to apply and will receive free lean manufacturing consultation as part of the process.

The award will form part of the annual awards scheme run by the Institute of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) and the most improved chemical manufacturer will be selected and announced, together with a shortlist of peers at the IChemE awards dinner in London on Thursday September 29, 2005. Candidate companies have until July 1 to enter.

Says Mark Lewis, PICME chief executive, ‘the major challenge for our industry is the rapid uptake of the world class operating practices needed. To encourage all in the industry trying to meet this challenge and to also provide some practical help, PICME is supporting for the first time this year an award through the IChemE. This is designed to encourage those on the improvement journey to persevere. Progress can be difficult and slow but the benefits are crucial to sustainability.’

UK Chemical manufacturers who enter the award will be offered a free half day visit by a manufacturing expert from PICME who will undertake a site assessment and offer advice on what further performance improvements might be possible.

For those who make it to the short list, a more in depth one day benchmark and assessment, undertaken by a PICME Senior Advisor, will be available free of charge. The benchmark will give candidate companies a view as to how their industrial peer group matches their peer group, worldwide.

PICME’s view is the UK’s chemicals and process industry still needs to increase its use of the lean manufacturing approach to make its manufacturing globally competitive. Most enterprises in UK chemicals manufacturing could still benefit from working that bit ‘smarter’.

‘As ever,’ says Mark Lewis, ‘the key to unlocking this potential is not about cash or capital. It’s about people – helping them work more effectively – and using best practice in measurement and improvement,’ he adds.

To enter the awards, companies should obtain an entry form from PICME or from the IChemE. In the first instance a 500 word submission should be sent to the IChemE judges by Friday July 1. Shortlisted companies will be visited by PICME over July/August to determine the overall winner.