In the highly competitive and fast-paced frozen food industry, maintaining operational efficiency while ensuring product quality and safety presents a significant challenge.

This case study explores the journey of a leading frozen food processing company that faced critical challenges and how transforming its operations helped them to return to profitability.

Challenge: Excessive scrap and product give away and frozen food spoilage compromising downstream processing was negatively impacting costs.

The company was facing excessive scrap, product give away, and spoilage of frozen foods, which were compromising downstream processing and negatively impacting costs. This situation was exacerbated by increasing pressure from low-cost regions, driving down margins and necessitating a rapid increase in shareholder return. To address these issues, there was an immediate focus on turning the plant around and returning it to profitability. This was achieved by driving sustainability through implementing daily management processes, ensuring a comprehensive approach to overcoming operational challenges and enhancing financial performance.

Solution: Used value-stream analysis to identify significant losses and Implemented Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) to minimise product variation.

Through the application of value-stream analysis, significant losses were identified in changeover and sanitation times, leading to lost capacity and increased operating costs. Furthermore, Six Sigma techniques were employed to pinpoint the root causes of product variation and give away. Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) was implemented to mitigate these issues to minimise product variation. Additionally, scheduling efficiency was enhanced to reduce changeover waste and increase uptime. The problem of defrosting times causing spoilage was addressed, and sanitation practises were standardised to eliminate or reduce sources of bacteria growth, further streamlining the production process and improving overall operational efficiency.

Results: The company was able to generate over $3.5 million in annualised savings, improve yield, reduce process variation, and improve sanitation.

  • Generated over $3.5 million in annualised savings
  • 20-25% improvement in targeted improvement areas. Shifted mean target weight reducing give away
  • Reduced process variation, resulting in less scrap and reprocessing
  • Improved food safety, achieved a 28% reduction in sanitisation time while reducing bacteria growth opportunities, reduced set-up times by 49%