Britvic's second wave has team spirit

By Rick Pendrous

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Wind power Energy Renewable energy

Clive Hooper set up CI teams to raise performance at Britvic's factories
Clive Hooper set up CI teams to raise performance at Britvic's factories
Britvic is embarking on the second phase of a group-wide total productive maintenance (TPM) programme. It involves transferring ownership of continuous improvement (CI) to the operational teams at individual plants.

The soft drinks company began its TPM journey about four and a half years ago at the instigation of GB operations director Clive Hooper, who began by setting up CI teams within Britvic's factories. But TPM has now developed to the stage where those at the front line of production need to take "ownership"​ of it, says Hooper.

While group-wide CI teams will still be available to provide support where this is required, it is important for TPM to become integral to the way in which everything is done and not just another management initiative, believes Hooper. The only way this will happen is by embedding TPM within the operational culture, he adds.

"We have taken out the CI teams in the plants because we have embedded a portion of the TPM there,"​ says Hooper. "They still have support from the national team but they are there to do TPM on their own. It's an evolution not a revolution. If you make TPM a revolution, you've failed."

Britvic has six sites across the country, located at Leeds, Huddersfield, Rugby, Norwich, Chelmsford and Becton, east London. In total, they employ around 1,000 people.

It is currently installing computer systems to support the TPM. These include real-time data capture, together with standardised approaches to meetings and reporting from production meetings to those on health and safety issues.

"When I started I told my team that I could write a blueprint for this,"​ says Hooper. "But I'm not going to do that because I've done it before and it doesn't work. You've got to learn by doing it. You've got to learn by your mistakes. You've got to learn by going down the odd blind alley.

"What you don't want to do is go down the blind alley twice. That way, it becomes embedded in the business rather than just project that is nice to have."

As well as comprehensive packaging and waste reduction programmes, Britvic is also reviewing its energy use strategy to ensure the sustainability of its business. As part of this work, the company will be evaluating whether it needs to generate energy on-site or adopt more effective procurement practices.

While this doesn't currently make use of renewable energy, this could become part of the mix in future. However, it is unlikely to involve wind turbines in view of the potential planning problems it would face with its factories located relatively close to residential areas. Combined heat and power systems are likely to be considered for the larger plants.

At the same time, a lot of work under Hooper's control is devoted to minimising energy use by, for example, recycling high pressure air from bottle blowers and installing servo drives on equipment.

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