Efficiency ups processing at Westland Milk

Peak processed milk through the factory was 4,110,673 litres, on October 25. Photo: supplied
Peak processed milk through the factory was 4,110,673 litres, on October 25. Photo: supplied

Improved plant efficiencies have contributed to an increase in processed milk through the Hokitika dairy factory, Westland Milk Products says.

Peak milk for the new season was achieved on November 2 with 3,564,935 litres received.

Chief executive Toni Brendish said that was just one tanker load short of the previous season's peak milk of 3,593,905 litres.

Peak processed milk through the factory was 4,110,673 litres, on October 25.

"This includes bought-in milk and is 150,000 litres more than the previous season - 3,955,907 litres; an increase largely made possible by improved plant efficiency," Ms Brendish said.

The company had been able to process more milk through the Hokitika plant through increased efficiency in a number of areas including:

  • Improved maintenance processes, which meant better plant reliability.
  • A focus on standardising plant running conditions: "This has given us more consistency of performance."
  • Ensuring the right people were in the right role at the right time.

"One of the outcomes of Westland's staff role review was that we reduced team silos and built in greater flexibility and variety into production roles.

"This has enabled us to shift staff across work stations to where they are most needed at the right time, avoiding the situation where one production team might not be busy while another might be experiencing workloads higher than they can manage," Ms Brendish said.

A focus on a number of efficiency initiatives company-wide and participated in by all staff, had also identified areas where the company could reduce waste, work more efficiently and improve time management.

"This has allowed us to lift plant throughput, especially in our butter factory, UHT plant and our nutritional powder driers."

 - Janna Sherman of the Hokitika Guardian


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