Welcome to the June edition of Spoke in Brief Australia. Featured this month are the following stories:
- Improvement in coke by-products leads to big benefits
- Mining ramps up capacity with new harbour crane
- Spotlight on process safety
- Family fun with the Port Adelaide Football Club
- Metalcentre shines a light on excellence
- Laverton Meltshop performs at world class level
- Recycling Finance Team cooks for those in need
- Strategic partnership to deliver globally competitive renewable energy in Australia
Improvement in coke by-products leads to big benefits
Our continuous improvement drive is gaining momentum within Primary Steel through the delivery of some great initiatives like the coke by-products improvement initiative which has more than doubled the value of our coke by-products.
Prior to the improvement activity, we were struggling with the reliability and quality of our coke by-products and were not pricing them to their true value. To address this, the coke by-products improvement team undertook considerable work to improve our coke stockpiling systems, quality standards, training and pricing. These cumulative activities have dramatically increased the value of our coke by-products, with an additional increase forecast for FY20 – what a huge success for the team!
Primary Steel General Manager Operations Jason Schell said the coke by-products improvement initiative is a great example of the many improvement initiatives currently underway within the business.
“There are a number of improvements being delivered, with significant benefits to the business. We’ve achieved strong success from the work undertaken by the coke-by products improvement team and I’m looking forward to seeing the results of our other initiatives in progress,” he said.
Mining ramps up capacity with new harbour crane
As we continue to build and expand the capability of our Mining business, the Whyalla Port has recently welcomed a new state-of-the-art harbour crane. The new crane will improve our productivity through increased capability and cycle times, and eventually replace our current stockbridge.
Mining Executive Managing Director Matt Reed said the crane was an important part of ongoing improvements to Whyalla.
“This is all part of opening up our facility to the global shipping market,” he said.
“The new equipment more than doubles our capacity per grab, while offering an hourly load rate nearly five times that of the old stockbridge. It also enables us to handle not only bulk and break bulk, but also container and rotainer services for the first time, so it completely changes our cargo capabilities.
“The fact it’s mobile also offers a host of unique advantages – including being able to assist other areas within the steelworks,” said Matt.
While the port already attracts third-party usage, including the recent transport of wind farm components for the Lincoln Gap renewable project, the new crane means the port will be better equipped to facilitate needs of businesses outside of our own.
“Combined with the increased stevedoring and port capability of our new contractor partner Qube, we expect to significantly ramp up third-party involvement in the facility,” Matt said.
Spotlight on process safety
In recognition of World Steel Safety Day, which was observed across the group throughout April, our Rural and Wire business chose to focus on process safety, implementing three new audit tools to better manage the intrinsic risks associated with the wire manufacturing process.
The tools are designed to help Machine Operators, Process Operators and Maintenance Planners test the effectiveness of process safety prevention barriers (e.g. hazard awareness, machine guarding and emergency stops) and mitigation barriers (e.g. first aid treatment, emergency response and chemical/spill containment).
Speaking about why the business chose to focus on process safety, Paul Fray, Wire WHS Manager said, “The World Steel Association identifies the lack of effective major process control as the second highest cause of fatalities across the global steel industry. Closer to home, we reflected on recent process related High Potential Incidents from around GFG Australia, and while we have a strong focus on fatality proofing through the GFG Safety Codes of Practice assurance programs, we were concerned that process safety management could be a blind spot for our business.”
“Since we launched our new audit tools, over 20 audits have been completed and the lessons are being worked through. These process safety audits will become a regular safety calendar assurance activity and will support our overall safety plan which now has a focus on major process control.”
Family fun with the Port Adelaide Football Club
With ‘family’ as one of our core values, it is wonderful to see how each of our businesses embraces this value and makes it part of their work environment.
A great example comes from our South Australian Reinforcing team who recently held a family day featuring special guests from the Gupta family-sponsored AFL team Port Adelaide.
Tom Bishop Reinforcing State Manager for South Australia said the day was an important event to recognise the fantastic efforts of the team.
“Since ARC and OneSteel Reinforcing merged into one business four years ago, we’ve become profitable and grown from 65 to more than 100 people including contractors. A family day provided the perfect opportunity to celebrate the success of the business and recognise the ongoing commitment of our people and their families,” he said.
More than 120 people attended the first annual event and mingled with Port Adelaide players Brad Ebert and Hamish Hartlett.
The players signed footballs for the kids, played kick to kick with the kids (and some big kids) and helped with the raffle draw, also speaking to the group about the partnership between GFG and Port and their shared values.
Metalcentre shines a light on excellence
Liberty Metalcentre’s continuous improvement journey ‘SHINE’ is helping to affect change to improve the customer experience, strengthen commercial returns and make Metalcentre a better place to work.
In the two years since launch, SHINE has helped the business enhance customer value by improving inventory quality and processing uptime, reducing error and waste, and increasing the reliability of Metalcentre’s delivery performance. The program has also increased focus on sustainable business returns and led to dramatic improvements in margins, freight recovery, inventory quality and operational efficiency. The great ideas that have come from the program have been shared and adopted and are driving excellence throughout Metalcentre’s national network.
The success of Metalcentre’s SHINE program has been driven by people in the business who have identified, developed and owned how they deliver on business aspirations. SHINE has created a platform for every person in every role to identify excellence, then undertake the actions that move themselves, their teams and the business towards it.
Metalcentre General Manager, Mark Lewin says, “SHINE has helped set Metalcentre on the path to becoming an excellent and sustainable customer-focused organization by harnessing the talents of all Metalcentre employees, encouraging innovation and empowering all to generate improvement ideas and implement with agility. SHINE is unique in that it is ours – the Metalcentre team developed and own the program, but its fits seamlessly with the GFG Vision and Values and is our way of connecting and realigning our culture with the group.”
Laverton Meltshop performs at world class level
A strong commitment to operational excellence has helped the Laverton Meltshop improve the single tundish campaign record of 119 heats originally set in September 2017, then matched April 2019.
The team successfully completed a 130 heat tundish campaign – producing 11,113 Gross Tonnes of billet with no breakouts. Most importantly, there were zero incidents or injuries during this run.
Victorian Operations Manager Hercules Van der Merwe enthusiastically praised the effort of the team saying, “This is an excellent achievement and every single person who was involved in this effort, should rightly feel extremely proud of their contribution.”
“This is performance at a world class level and is indicative that pride, ownership and accountability and leadership with integrity is present in the Meltshop.”
The billet caster started at 00:53am on Wednesday 22 May and ran until 04:44am on Sunday 26 May, with a total casting time of 4 days 3 hours and 51 minutes.
The turnaround was planned to eliminate transition billet downgrades on a change of grade.
Operations Superintendent at the Meltshop, David Stewart praised his team, saying, “This performance was achieved through exceptional equipment availability in combination with operational discipline.” He also noted that his team demonstrated “pride and ownership at all levels.”
Recycling Finance Team cooks for those in need
The Recycling Finance Team took a different approach for their recent team offsite, carving some out time to cook and package food for the Lighthouse Foundation to supply homeless shelters.
As well as delivering social outcomes for the community, the team were able to cook, learn and laugh all while creating an unforgettable meal. On the menu was prawn paella, meatballs and chicken cacciatore.
Speaking about the experience, Recycling Director of Finance Barton Champness said, “The day was a great opportunity to go the extra mile for those in need, and it really helped the team reflect on what life is like for those less fortunate.”
An article by Pro Bono Australia outlines that the true value of corporate volunteering extends beyond doing good for others, it also enhances team performance.
What a great way to spend an evening!
Strategic partnership to deliver globally competitive renewable energy in Australia
Shanghai Electric will provide engineering, procurement and construction for the Cultana Solar Farm project in South Australia, after signing a strategic partnership with SIMEC Energy Australia in Shanghai in early June.
The agreement was signed by our Executive Chairman Sanjeev Gupta, and Shanghai Electric President Huang Ou, in the presence of representatives from key supporting financial institutions at an official signing event.
The Cultana Solar Farm is the first project of SIMEC Energy Australia’s landmark US$1 billion, 1GW dispatchable renewable energy program in South Australia. With capacity of 280MW, Cultana is expected to produce around 600GWh of energy per year, powering our Whyalla Steelworks and a range of key government and commercial customers.
Read the full media release.