A. Schulman Plastics (formerly Compco) is a medium-sized business located in Mordialloc, Melbourne. The company manufactures specialty plastic products such as electrical insulation, pipes, soft feel surfacing materials and plastic concentrate materials for packaging.
A. Schulman wanted to undertake a materials assessment to quantify volumes and costs of raw material and additives, and wastes across operations, and to identify potential opportunities for efficiency gains and cost savings.
The business estimates potential savings in the order of $96,000 per annum.
Sustainability Victoria provided funding to cover 75% of the cost of a material assessment. The assessment examined A. Schulman's operations with particular focus on the batching and loading of raw materials and additives.
The 2013 assessment found that for every kilogram of finished product 0.06kg of waste is produced, with 34% going to landfill. When related energy and labour costs are included the true cost of this waste to the business is 92 times the disposal costs.
Recommendations from the assessment involved actions to improve batch loading, blending and reduce down times. If fully implemented, these improvements could reduce annual waste generation by 37% representing a 27% reduction in costs.
A. Schulman was successful in gaining $50,000 funding from Sustainability Victoria through the latest round of Smarter Resources, Smarter Business Capital Funding to upgrade the plastics manufacturing system to provide more accurate measurements, leading to improved product quality.
We are looking forward to going forward with the project. It has been a good experience, not all government experiences are.
Bill McMahon – Managing Director, A. Schulman Plastics