CASE STUDY

Recognising excellence among our Process Division's mission directed work teams

Team Avante from the smelter [photo]
From left to right: Frans de Beer (VP Processing and Smelting), team member Anthony Swanepoel and team leader Stephen Louw (both representing Team Avante from the Smelter)

The much anticipated annual Process Division EVP Recognition Evening for our Mission Directed Work Teams (MDW) took place on 30 October 2013, when employees celebrated one another's excellent performances in a number of different categories, including Best MDW Team Spirit, Best MDW Coaches, Best Implemented Innovations, Best Safety Performance and Best Improvement and Operational Excellence.

First prize for Best Implemented Innovation went to Team Avante from the Smelter for their Converter 1, 2 and 3 Position Encoder Upgrade. Not only has their innovation had a positive impact on safety, production access to the aisle, a reduction in call-outs, matt reprocessing and the supply to the BMR, but they have also managed to achieve a cost saving for the Company of R860,000!

The PM Pirates from the PMR won second prize for their installation of a filter press, which resulted in a cycle time reduction from 910 hours down to 130 hours. Team Simunye from the Merensky Concentrator won third prize for using scrap metal to construct a lid for the cyclone underflow box that feeds the ball mills. This innovation has led to less downtime, fewer callouts and improved safety.

Well done to these and all the other teams and coaches who won for your excellent work and dedication to continuous business improvement.

MDW is a management approach that uses simple yet highly effective tools to assist teams to achieve and exceed performance targets, whilst ensuring continuous business improvement. The practice was first piloted in the Process Division at the PMR in 2008. Soon after implementation, it was evident that the benefits of high performance teams greatly outweighed the implementation costs, and MDW is now the established across the Process Division.

The MDW programme is aimed at providing leaders and their teams with the skills to:

We look forward to the 2014 Recognition Evening to see what other innovative developments our MDW teams come up with.