This is not your ordinary roadside lemonade stand

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Tom ZaunmayrPilbara News
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VideoYara Pilbara set up lemonade factory to explore ways to improve efficiency

Yara Pilbara has taken the humble lemonade stand to a whole new level as part of a training exercise to improve efficiency at its ammonia and technical ammonium nitrate plants on the Burrup Peninsula.

More than 100 employees were involved in the exercise last week which saw teams work to produce as much lemonade as they could in a limited timeframe.

This was no roadside juicer and jug operation, however, with the Frank Butler Centre fully kitted out with production lines consisting of boilers, kegs, bottlers and cleaning stations.

Yara Pilbara general manager Chris Rijksen said the exercise was a fun way to challenge the team to practice problem-solving and identifying and eliminating non-value-adding activity.

“The lemonade-making task actively engaged our people in problem-solving and optimisation and required each team to collaborate with each other to complete a series of tasks applying the newly learned techniques,” he said.

“Key to any successful production is clear thinking, careful planning, team work and daily continuous improvement.

“The lemonade makers had to pass through a variety of stages including choosing the ingredients, carefully creating the recipe and cleaning and sterilising the bottles to store the beverage.”

Mr Rijksen said after going through the improvement process, the lemonade production output more than tripled while sticking to the high Yara safety standard. The exercise was part of Yara International’s ambition to reduce its costs by at least $US500 million ($A65.2 million) a year.

“Unlike many other companies, this will not be done by blunt cost-cutting and staff reduction,” he said.

“Instead, Yara is unleashing the full capacity of her employees by implementing continuous improvement efforts.”

Yara Pilbara was the sixth Yara plant worldwide to undertake the challenge.

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