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

Pan Demetrakakes in Optimization on June 07, 2018

New sauce filler on Line 2 at Milton, PA, plant.


Can you give details of how the operation in Milton, Pa., achieved a 2% yield improvement while reducing 1,150 tons of wasted sauce per year? Was this due to some adjustment in the filler?

Tavill: A low-viscosity sauce was creating high-yield loss in our Milton, Pa., plant when small amounts of sauce would spill while going through a waterfall briner before the can was sealed. By creating a thicker sauce and using the waterfall briner to add a thin layer of water across the sauce, the team was able to create a barrier to keep the sauce in place. This “topping water” mixes in with the concentrated sauce during thermal processing, thus not changing the overall product design. After the first month of operation, the yield improvement has been tracking at 2% with an annual yield improvement projected at $350,000. 

Winners from the Milton, PA team: Paul Rearick, Production Manager;  Jeff Dodson, Production Team Leader; Mike Tracy*; Karl Henschel, Engineering Project Manager; Dana Lockwood, Env. Health & Safety Manager

* Conagra Supply Chain executives, not on winning teams


Freelancer Pan Demetrakakes began his trade publishing career in 1992 by covering packaging, which he has done for several publications over the years. Other areas of coverage in his career include the food supply chain from production through retailing, as well as specialty coffee retailing, gift and housewares retailing, and electrical equipment.



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