Dennison Foods Manufacturing (DFM) is a second generation family-owned food manufacturing business located in the Gippsland Lakes area of Bairnsdale, three hours east of Melbourne. Presenting healthy but convenient products has been an essential part of the development of Dennison Foods since it began operation in 1999. DFM predominantly manufactures products for frozen foods for other companies such as Patties, Jenny Craig and Inghams.
By participating in various initiatives under Sustainability Victoria's Smarter Resources, Smarter Business program, including master classes and skilling up staff, DFM has embraced continuous learning and improvement and has demonstrated it is serious about resource efficiency.
'DFM recognised early on that there had to be a smarter way of operating and doing business – from securing raw materials, to the safety of our employees, to the end product,' said DFM Business Manager, Cindy Edwards.
DFM successfully applied for a $50,000 capital funding grant through Sustainability Victoria's Smarter Resources, Smarter Business program in 2013 to install two Bulka Bag Unloader units in its plant. The units provide automated conveyance and measuring of flour to mixers in production, which is expected to result in a higher yield and reduced wastage.
'There were challenges, primarily because this was our first project on this scale and installing Bulka bag units was foreign to us. This also meant some unknown costs associated with the installation, but the end result far-outweighs any of these issues,' said Edwards.
In June 2014, after completing this project, DFM successfully applied for a $15,000 grant through the Smarter Resources, Smarter Business program to conduct a resource assessment of their operations to identify further material as well as energy saving opportunities.
In the eight months since installation of the Bulka Bag units with their accurate dose delivery of ingredients, DFM has saved 5,000kg of flour and it is expected that these savings will continue to grow as DFM identifies additional efficiency opportunities as a result of this project. There has been additional flow-on benefit from the bulk ingredient delivery system with DFM now able to purchase supplies in bulk with significant savings.
'Apart from the obvious financial gains, this project has certainly helped DFM to reduce the potential risk to our employees in terms of manual handling risks. Buying bulk bags of flour has practically reduced the need for any manual handling of flour-based raw materials. It has also allowed DFM to be more innovative in terms of identifying opportunities to enhance production processes … doing more in-house rather than buying in speciality raw materials.'
Edwards believes that resource efficiency is 'just good business sense, and there is nothing to lose and everything to gain by adopting this approach.'
'DFM will continue to seek opportunities for improvement across all aspects of its processes to demonstrate its ongoing commitment to employees and customers and a pursuit for sustainable business excellence,' Edwards said.
DFM is currently working on an LED lighting replacement project, which will see all lights in the production processing, freezers, coolroom, load bays and maintenance workshop areas replaced with LED lighting.
The company is also considering a boiler upgrade to achieve efficiencies through greater utilisation of steam.
Resource assessment conducted by Genesis Now.