Continuous processes require a vigilant 24/7 workforce, but the high level of automation in most process manufacturing operations makes human monitoring highly monotonous. Special attention must be paid to control room design and workforce policies and fatigue management procedures so that employee alertness and performance are maintained at high levels on all shifts.
Chemicals and Plastics
Our first case study was reported in Chemical Week 25 years ago, and ever since then CIRCADIAN has helped a myriad of chemical facilities worldwide achieve shift work excellence and maintain best practices.
Despite many years of experience in shiftwork and 24 hour operations, the chemical industry faces special challenges with the productivity and safety of its skilled workforce in an increasingly competitive global market. This includes new competitors, new market, and demand prices.
Traditional approaches to hiring, scheduling, and training is no longer today’s challenges. Today there are increased risks and liabilities. At the same time, the emergence of new products. processes, and markets provide the chance to build chemical processing facilities and 24/7 workforces from the ground up to avoid the costly engrained mistakes of the past.
Paper and Pulp
The continued shrinkage of the American pulp and paper industry through mergers and acquisitions often leads to closing the least efficient mills. This is just one sign of the continuous pressure placed on managres to achieve and maintain world class production and quality. Reducing costs is an annual exercise that may actually lead to severe understaffing and increased fatigue.
Although newly installed equipment and team management techniques will still provide the ability to do more with less, proper staffing of the mill sites will prove ever more daunting. CIRCADIAN has worked in every part of the pulp and paper industry from personal tissues to high end stationery products, and helped achieve the cost efficiencies in both direct and often-overlooked indirect costs.
- Understanding the delicate safety/cost/productivity balance between reducing staffing levels and having those that remain pick up the slack through ever increasing overtime hours.
- Providing modern shift schedules to attract and keep younger employees. Most U.S. mills use antiquated schedules that require 7 consecutive work days followed by a few days off, and only 1 of 4 weekends off. Studies indicate that today’s workforce is looking for jobs that maximize family and social time.
- Managing the unique physiological and sociological stresses placed on pulp and paper employees by working rotating schedules (Days – Evenings – Nights) in a 24/7 industry.
- Safeguarding the mill from errors of inattention caused by excess fatigue. Consider that as the cost of capital continues to escalate and staffing levels continue to drop, the potential adverse effect[s] of any individual misstep is much higher than ever.
Food and Beverage
The fluctuations caused by seasonal demand and marketing promotions, together with demands for scheduled equipment cleaning create special workforce management challenges which CIRCADIAN is expert at solving.
Continuous processes require a vigilant 24/7 workforce, but the high level of automation in the food and beverage industry makes critical monitoring highly monotonous. Special attention must be paid to control room design and methods so that employee alertness and performance are at high levels on all shifts.
- Variable production. Seasonal food supply and seasonal demand add complexity to the scheduling of production and employee work schedules. Added to this are continuously changing product lines which require different production needs.
- Increasing sanitation requirements. Scheduling sanitation on a regular basis can be disruptive and create challenges in maximizing efficiency.
- Rising employee healthcare costs. As the workforce ages, rising healthcare costs have become a central issue that must be managed to contain overall expenses.
- Work environment. In many cases, employees work in areas that are on the extreme ends of the thermostat. Areas with high cold or high heat can lead to additional fatigue concerns.
Worldwide demand for quality products on which consumers rely requires a special attention to the workforce to ensure standards are maintained twenty-four hours a day.
How CIRCADIAN® can help you
- Staffing Level Analysis. Using advanced analysis techniques, CIRCADIAN can identify the optimal staffing levels for your operation taking into account the fluctuations in demand that are inherent in the food industry.
- Shift Schedule Optimization. CIRCADIAN works with both managers and employees to identify a set of ideal schedule solutions to meet business and family/social needs.
- Fatigue Risk Assessment. Understand the potential costs, risks and liabilities created by staffing levels, work loads and overall policies and procedures pertaining to this unique 24/7 industry
- Fatigue Risk Management Systems. Comprehensive fatigue management programs will map out the course of action to maintain high safety standards while reducing costs associated with fatigue-related errors and incidents.
- Managing a Shiftwork Lifestyle. These programs assist shiftworkers with managing their personal health, which will help minimize healthcare costs.
- 24/7 Workplace Evaluation and Design. CIRCADIAN’s expert researchers can assess the impact of the work environment and identify the best means of maintaining alertness for the workforce.