Annual savings: 14,000kg rubber and $64,000
Mackay Consolidated Industries Pty Ltd, located in Moorabbin, is a 100% Australian-owned private company. Mackay commenced operation in 1932 as a small and efficient supplier of automotive parts, and has grown to become a major supplier of a diverse range of engineered rubber and bonded metal/rubber composite products for the automotive, defence, transport and construction industries.
Mackay received funding through the Smarter Resources, Smarter Business program to conduct a materials assessment of its processes to determine materials inputs and points where waste is occurring, and to identify material efficiency opportunities.
'As a manufacturer that embraces Lean thinking we already understood the importance of minimising wastage while maximising customer value, however the opportunity to have a materials assessment conducted was an obvious step for Mackay Industries. An outside consultant can often clarify ideas and help formulate actions,' said Operations Manager, Noel Hawley.
Following the assessment, Mackay has acted on a recommendation to re-tool machinery used to join sponge rubber seals for 44 gallon drums. Mackay received a $3,000 grant through the Smarter Resources, Smarter Business program toward the cost of the works associated with this re-tooling process.
Mackay Industries was also successful in obtaining a $50,000 capital funding grant through the Smarter Resources, Smarter Business program in 2013 to replace its existing rubber pre-forming machine.
'Our assessment identified an area where we could obtain maximum savings with minimal spend. The re-tooling of our sponge seal joining machinery is on track to save us around 14,000kg of material and $64,000 per year.
'We have ordered a new rubber reforming machine to replace our old one which as well as leaking oil, produces blocks of rubber (slugs) with a size variation of up to 15%. The new machine which will cost $106,000, will be able to form and cut much more accurately and should result in considerable materials efficiency improvement. We expect savings of about $30,000 per year.
'The assessment really helped us consolidated our knowledge, formulate actions and quantify the savings for us. The funding from Sustainability Victoria has really helped to achieve our efficiency objectives,' said Hawley.
Mackay Industries will continue to look for other opportunities to reduce operating costs by being more materials efficient and reducing wastage. The business intends to implement more of the recommendations from its materials assessment, including conducting trials of new hose moulding machinery and processes which could result in savings in the order of $50,000 per year for an investment of around $85,000.