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Competitive manufacturing programs for the food and beverage industry

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Many food and beverage companies are now starting to implement Competitive Manufacturing programs using a combination of time proven improvement methodologies including Lean Manufacturing, Six Sigma, Total Productive Maintenance and other techniques according to The Improve Group . They see this program as a key to developing a culture of continuous improvement providing a competitive advantage in today’s marketplace.

Results from the Competitive Manufacturing program will vary by company. Examples from companies include:

  • Changeover times – typically these can be reduced by > 80%
  • % of changeover staff involved in continuous improvement activities - 10-100%
  • Equipment availability - >99%
  • Quality improvement – up to 100% reduction in defect rates
  • Reduction in yield loss – 50-100%
The Competitive Manufacturing program is a nationally recognised training program providing staff with real workplace based projects to improve their processes. Upon successful completion staff are awarded a Certificate or Diploma in Competitive Manufacturing.

The levels may vary by staff role as follows:

  • Certificate III in Competitive Manufacturing – Team Member
  • Certificate IV in Competitive Manufacturing – Team Leader / Supervisor / Technician
  • Diploma in Competitive Manufacturing – Manager
There are two (2) types of government funding available and this varies by state. The two (2) formats are:
  1. Traineeship funding (Federal Government = $5,100 per eligible participant for Certificate IV trainees (New South Wales and Queensland also fund Certficate III). This funding is available at any time. The subsidies are paid directly to the employer.
  2. Productivity Places Program (PPP). This program is a jointly funded initiative between the State and Federal Governments and provides between 85-90% funding for higher level traineeships (Certificate IV and Diplom). PPP Funding is limited to certain numbers per funding round and subsidies vary by state. The subsidies are paid directly to the training provider.

The Competitive Manufacturing program is suitable for any food or beverage sector company or their supply chain partners. The program can be tailored to suit industry needs as required.

Examples of companies currently engaged in the program include:

  • Beverages – bottling, canning, tetrapak, distribution and warehousing, R&D, quality
  • Food Ingredients – dry blending, herbs and spices, aseptic
  • Meat Industry – abbatoirs, boning rooms, by-products, leather tanning and leather goods, cool stores
  • Dairy Industry – milk reception, powder plants, cheese processing, packaging, cool stores
  • Grains, Seeds – harvesting, storage, blending, stock feeds
  • Agri-Sector – farm equipment, manufacturers, trailers, stockyards
  • Many companies in the food and beverage sectors are now taking advantage of this government funded initiative to improve their culture, productivity, quality, safety and competitiveness.

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