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Management of Innovation at Solvay Paperboard

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  1. Management of Innovation at Solvay Paperboard K. G. Rajan

  2. INTRODUCTION • Solvay Paperboard is a 100% recycled containerboard mill in Syracuse, N.Y. • Partnership of four independent corrugated box manufacturers • Mini-mill concept, “built to last” • Team concept work culture

  3. 1994: PM1

  4. 1999: PM2

  5. 2002: PM3


  6. Not your average paper company! • We call it thinking “out of the box” • You can call it INNOVATION

  7. EXAMPLES OF INNOVATION AT SOLVAY PAPERBOARD

  8. Innovation Doesn’t Necessarily Mean “Faster is Better” • Example: PM1 was designed for 1000 – 1500 FPM using equipment suited for 2000 – 3000 FPM • Result: 95% uptime, low cost of maintenance

  9. Innovation Can Be Something As Simple As Standardization • Example: All electrical components from one supplier • Result: Optimal training, minimum “expert” services

  10. Innovation Can Be Operator Access to Controls Everywhere • Example: PM1 first machine with complete Mill DCS in every bench board • Result: Operator efficiency

  11. Innovation Can Be Using Ideas from Other Processes • Example: Walking floor from trucking + wire cutter from P&P • Result: Operator safety, reduced personnel

  12. Innovation Can Be Inspecting and Sorting “Garbage” • Example: First Mill to classify OCC by grade • Result: Process stability

  13. Innovation Can Be Improving Quality of Work Life • Example: Automated grapple hoist • Result: Minimize brain numbing from years of repetitive tasks

  14. Innovation Can Be Applied to Safety and Housekeeping • Example: Concept of “breakfast under the pulper” • Result: Clean, safe Mill

  15. Innovation Can Come From Any Source • Example: Location of locker rooms came from a postman • Result: People are always in the middle of the action

  16. Innovation Can Be Commercial • Example: Giving suppliers ownership of a complete valve package • Result: Owner can focus on making the project successful

  17. Innovation Can Be About Many Small Things • Example: Pumps without seal water • Result: Lower operating cost (water, energy, effluent)

  18. Innovation in Process Design • Example: Segregate solid waste streams • Result: Downstream recovery (plastic to cogeneration, fibers to animal bedding)

  19. Innovation is Learning from Other Countries • Example: Anaerobic effluent treatment • Result: Minimal operating costs

  20. Innovation Can Be in People Systems • Example: Empowering the workforce, pay for skills • Result: Highly qualified, self-motivated technicians

  21. …But Most Importantly, Innovation is About Courage! • Investor courage to invest • Designers courage to put their reputation on the line • Supplier courage to manage innovation • Operator courage to take responsibility • Management courage to stay out of the way

  22. Thank you!