How Conagra rewards packaging line workers for cutting waste: Page 2 of 3

Pan Demetrakakes in Optimization on June 07, 2018


Winners from the Waterloo, IA, team: Craig Weiss*, vp supply chain; Tom Jeys, environmental health and safety manager; Ellyn Perkins, environmental health and safety specialist

* Conagra Supply Chain executive, not on winning team


Can you give details of how the David Seeds operation in Waterloo, Iowa, saved 225,000 bags of seeds a year? Why do bags have to be purged during startup, and how was the team able to reduce the number of bags purged?

Tavill: To preserve freshness of our David Seeds, the headspace in the individual bags are nitrogen-flushed. At each startup cycle, achieving the correct residual oxygen level required the plant to purge 10 bags. After observing the volume of waste generated by that practice, the team questioned if the current standard was necessary. Working with the quality team, they were able to identify that optimal nitrogen values were reached after purging only seven bags. This change saved 225,000 bags of sunflower seeds.


NEXT: Filler adjustment in Milton, Pa., cuts 1,150 tons of wasted sauce



Production efficiencies, ecommerce challenges, sustainability trends, new bioplastic technologies and more are among the topics on the agenda at the new Packaging Education Hub at EastPack 2018 (June 12-14; NYC). This free educational program will have more than 15 hours of can’t-miss presentations, demonstrations and hands-on activities. Register to attend for free today!

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