Dyno Nobel pilot yields US$60K saving

Dyno Nobel Pilot

Executive Summary
Dyno Nobel — the industrial explosives division of Incitec Pivot Limited — is already seeing some significant gains as a result of various pilot projects being rolled out as part of their Business Excellence (BEx) program, which is powered by TRACC. The focus of this story is on a pilot that recently took place at their Carthage site in North America. This pilot, achieving projected annual savings of US$60,000, attracted the attention of the organization’s IPL eNews publication. To quote, “Participating team members have completed their training, embraced new BEx skills and are energized by the outcomes they’re achieving.”


BEx (Business Excellence) is the name of Dyno Nobel’s organization-wide, global drive toward integrative improvement. As part of this BEx program, powered by TRACC, a pilot was recently set up at the Carthage site − Missouri’s Shell House. This plant produces explosives that are supplied to the mining market.

Dyno Nobel Pilot“Permissible Explosives” are explosives approved by the US Bureau of Mines as safe for blasting in mines that may contain excessive dust or natural gas. These permissible products, produced by Dyno Nobel, are housed in convolute shells that are marked with black or red striping. Three products currently use the black striping – literally two black stripes which are printed on opposite ends of the convolute shell. Six products currently use red striping, some with one red stripe, some with two red stripes, and others with three red stripes.

Various problems with the inking process used to mark the striping onto the products. These problems have been contributing toward waste in the form of lost production time, overall equipment effectiveness, machine stoppages, and rejects that need to be discarded.

Task Force teams identified various root causes for losses and waste. Among these are the following problems:

Problems associated with black striping on convolute shells:

 Dyno Nobel Pilot Incorrect tensioning of the inking rollers can cause misalignment of the paper feed.
 Dyno Nobel Pilot Spillage occurs on machines due to an issue with the storage of ink during print runs.

Cost breakdown of black striping:

Cost (US$)/Unit Each Average Usage Cost (US$)/Week
Striper assembly $600.00 1 assembly/2 years $       5.77
Ink pad for striper $  23.90 1 pad/6 months $       0.91
Ink (1 gallon) $107.82 1 gallon/2 months $     12.44
Average paper shell $    0.15 100 shells/day $     60.00
    Total cost/week $     79.12
    Total cost/year $4,114.24

Problems associated with red striping on convolute shells:

Dyno Nobel Pilot When pads are re-inked, an average of ten shells is thrown away due to the over-application of ink. Pads require re-inking on average three times per 400 shells. (A typical production day sees 16,000 shells being produced.)
 Dyno Nobel Pilot Production is halted periodically to remove hardened red ink from the mandrels and cutoff bars of machines. Once ink hardens on the pads, the pads no longer soak up ink, which causes the misapplication of the stripe, and the pads must be thrown away. Due to the hardening of ink, pads have difficulty staying on the striper assembly, causing misapplication of the stripe.

Cost breakdown of red striping:

Cost (US$)/Unit Each Average Usage Cost (US$)/Week
Striper assembly $600.00 1 assembly/2 years $         5.77
Ink pad for striper $  23.90 1 pad/1 week $       23.90
Ink (1 gallon) $107.82 1 gallon/2 months $       53.91
Average paper shell $    0.15 1,200 shells/day $     816.00
    Total cost/week $     899.58
    Total cost/year $46,788.16

A business case was developed by the Area Manufacturing Quality Engineer and the Shell House lead person, and agreed by the Packaged Explosives Business Team (PEBT). The suggested solution was to no longer print stripes on the product. However, the team would need to secure agreement from internal stakeholders as well as external clients. First, justification for the change was presented to the PEBT to secure agreement. Then letters were sent to packaged product customers about the change in labeling and the implementation date. Once this change was approved by all parties, convolute shells no longer required or used stripe markings.Dyno Nobel Pilot

Just by stopping and asking ourselves, ‘Why are we doing this?’ we are generating ideas for improving the way we work.

Material savings from the January 1 implementation date to May of that same year: US$16,656 for 17 weeks of production.

Projected total material savings for the fiscal year from the 1 January implementation date to fiscal year end in September: US$55,849.

Said Plant Manager Steve Burgin, “Just by stopping and asking ourselves, ‘Why are we doing this?’ we are generating ideas for improving the way we work.”

Company Background
Dyno Nobel is a leading supplier of industrial explosives and blasting services to the mining, quarrying, seismic and construction industries. Headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, the company employs more than 3,000 people who deliver practical innovation to customers from 150 locations throughout the world. Dyno Nobel is the market leader in North America — the largest explosives market in the world — and the second largest supplier in Australia — the third largest explosives market in the world.

This resource has been prepared for general guidance on matters of interest only, and does not constitute professional advice. You should not act upon the information contained herein without obtaining specific professional advice. Competitive Capabilities International (CCi) does not accept or assume any liability, responsibility or duty of care for any consequences of you or anyone else acting, or refraining to act, in reliance on the information contained in this resource or for any decision based on it.

Get more insights like this delivered straight to your inbox.