Silver linings – Seales Winslow’s Spinny revolution
After a massive fire gutted a significant part of the Seales Winslow plant the company rose from the ashes with a clear vision for the future and a renewed commitment to evolve and improve its packaging capability.
While the movement of equipment can seem like a relatively simple process, several factors need to be considered to deliver the right result.
Seales Winslow have been producing high-performance compound feeds and feed additives for New Zealand’s farmers since 2011 and, before that, as two separate companies with history dating back to the 1960s.
With manufacturing sites in Morrinsville, Ashburton and Wanganui the company was expanding on it’s national footprint and enhancing its service capability. Everything was going well until December 2017, when disaster struck at their Ashburton plant.
A fire broke out in wooden boxes outside the shed. By the time the fire service arrived over half the 5000-square-metre building was alight. The resulting blaze injured three firefighters and reduced the entire packing line and storage shed to charred ashes.
While undoubtedly a setback the fire provided Seales Winslow with the chance to start from scratch with a fresh logistical approach. The new packing line needed to be highly integrated, have minimal manual input and maximum goods throughput.
The company went to Aurora Process Solutions and Universal Packaging with a brief for a coordinated focus across filling, conveying, conditioning, labelling, palletising and wrapping.
“We were essentially looking to recreate the set-up we had,” says Seales Winslow’s Operations Manager Tyler Stuthridge. “But what we got instead was a vast improvement.”
Universal Packaging worked with Aurora Process to assess the previous set-up and made suggestions for a Spinny unit that could offer greater flexibility for what was required.
“Previously we had one tension over the whole pallet and there was lots of breakage in wrap,” says Tyler. “The adjustable tension during the cycle is a massive help compared to what we had (pre-fire). There’s no breakage and no time wasting anymore.”
Throughput is up and inefficiency is down in Ashburton. For a self-proclaimed ‘OCD Operations Manager’, Tyler is also happy with the neatness of the each wrapped pallet, stating, “I certainly like how the wrap’s ‘tail’ is neatly cut and packed away.”
The Seales Winslow team also appreciates all controls are intuitive and easy to use, which makes a significant difference in the speed of day-to-day operation. The busy Ashburton plant is so pleased with the system they’re now recommending it to others.