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Replacing a chimney in just seven days.
The DFE Pharma Cuddalore plant uses boilers to produce steam required for the production of Micro Crystalline Cellulose (MCC). Briquettes are burnt to generate heat and the waste gas is exhausted through a chimney. This chimney is 32 meters high. One day in February 2016, the maintenance operator of the DFE Pharma Cuddelore plant, discovered something important during his inspection. He observed there was a crack in the bottom of the chimney. He immediately informed his manager who – together with the safety officer – carried out a joint inspection. They classified the issue as a ‘class 2-risk’ with the potential to cause serious injury to people, as well as high property damage.
How was this issue solved?
The matter was escalated to the management and, after their approval, a team was formed with representatives of maintenance, safety, supply chain, production and the site manager to plan, execute and supervise the works. The chimney was replaced within only seven days. Quite a record, if you figure that these kinds of operations normally take a lot more time. It was only because of pro-activity and ownership throughout the whole chain that this was made possible.
What lessons can be learned?
The team ensured the work was completed within a very short period of time without sacrificing the quality of the repairs and the safety of the workmen. In total, around 35 people were involved. Because of the fact that quite a few external contractors were involved, the safety manager made a lot of effort to emphasize the safety guidelines of DFE Pharma. This was needed in order to avoid a ‘quick fix’. This case shows us how we all contribute, and how we need good working cross-functional teams in order to realize a safe and healthy working place, where quality is key. From the ownership and commitment right at the observance of the cracks till the completion of the repairs; the whole process highlights that We Care for safety, quality, efficiency and our people.