Logoplaste has achieved huge success in helping GlaxoSmithKline reduce its material use as Paul Sanderson discovered
Since 2010, Logoplaste has been manufacturing bottles on site at GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) factory at Coleford, Gloucestershire where products such as Lucozade and Ribena are manufactured and bottled.
And as part of this contract, Logoplaste has worked with GSK to reduce the amount of material used in the bottles and also reduce waste and energy on site.
“We make PET/rPET containers on site for Lucozade and Ribena,” says Logoplaste Coleford plant manager Mick Gray. “This plant was purpose-built for this between GSK and Logoplaste and we injection mold the bottles here before we send the preforms over to the GSK part of the site where the bottles are then filled before going to retailers.
“We manufacture 3 billion units per year (1.5 billion preforms and 1.5 billion bottles) here so it is very important for us and GSK that we are able to reduce the amount of material and waste we create.”
In 2012, the plant converted over 15,000 tonnes of PET and 4,000 metric tonnes of rPET.
Logoplaste had three key aims for its client GSK. These were:
- Designing for the environment – Logoplaste redesigned the Lucozade and Ribena product range conducting a ‘design of experiment’ at its state-of-the-art ILAB innovations facility in Portugal with the objective of proposing redesigns of the products that allowed the customer to retain the distinctive shape of the products but allow for a considerable material consumption reduction.
- Scrap reduction and recycling – it established a waste material reduction programme to reduce material waste and support GSK’s zero waste to landfill objective. It conducted an in-house process review of the plant’s activities relating to PET waste material generation and found that in 2011, the site generated 214 tonnes of waste material, of which 100 per cent was recycled. However, it set itself a target of a 50 per cent reduction in 2012 from this 214 tonnes of waste material.
- Energy saving – it wanted to develop an energy map of the site and its facilities. It wanted to design a method to process the ideas and activities that will identify the potential savings and validate those savings are achieved.
At ILAB, the technical team worked on the design of experiment to come up with new Lucozade and Ribena bottle designs while maintaining the original aesthetics and brand values.
This included design capability models and then these were tested to confirm theoretical weights to meet the customer specification.
Over the period of the project up to May 2013, a reduction of 1,950 tonnes of plastic had been achieved with the additional result of saving 69 tanker deliveries. It also reduced product conversion costs and reduced the carbon footprint from the process by 8,014,500 kgCO2 and a haulage carbon reduction of 129,789 kgCO2.
For the reduction of scrap product and recycling, Logoplaste and GSK held an operational excellence event where opportunities were identified with both companies to improve performance and to reduce the carbon footprint of the facility.
Logoplaste set up a small multifunctional team to review areas where it could reduce the amount of PET waste that was being sent off site to be recycled.
The manufacturing technicians also identified and implemented activities throughout the PET process on site.
Although its goal was to halve its 214 tonnes of plastic waste in 2012 from 2011, it actually achieved a 65 per cent reduction over the year reducing plastics waste to 76 tonnes.
When it comes to energy Mick Gray says: “The customer [GSK] pays the energy bill for the Logoplaste facility, so anything we do puts the savings back onto its bottom line.”
Again, staff from Logoplaste and GSK held a get together over four days to identify areas where energy consumption could be reduced.
Logoplaste created a site energy map and activity matrix where potential savings could be realised and project facilitators were created to drive through the improvements.
This included changing the pressure of high pressure compressors that were high energy users to 36.5 bar from 42 bar with no noticeable drop in performance but significant energy savings. Other energy savings came from the air bale system, while light weighting the bottles also led to less energy being used as a result in the manufacturing process.
Compared therefore to 2011 when Logoplaste used 1,358 Kwh per converted tonne, this was reduced to 1,254 Kwh per tonne in 2012, saving 104 Kwh per converted tonne.
With 19,490 tonnes of material used in 2012, a saving of 2,026,960 Kwh was achieved in 2012. This equated to a reduction of 1,063,383 KgCO2.
But in 2013, it identified more savings potential so that it is now operating at 1,191 Kwh per converted tonnes – saving a further 63 Kwh’s per tonne.