A Stalybridge chemicals company is celebrating its second major win in two years at the Chemical Industry Awards, the industry’s premier accolades. At the black tie event held in Liverpool’s St George’s Hall earlier this summer, Stepan Stalybridge, part of the Stepan Group, a global manufacturer of chemicals, won the ABB Manufacturing and Resource Efficiency Award for transforming its production with dramatic effect.
The award builds on last year’s success winning the Special Responsible Care Award for Process Safety.
Two years ago, the Stalybridge site was struggling to cope with demand for one of its major products, and sister sites around the world were needed to make up the shortfall in production. But by optimising the process, making small changes to equipment, implementing new shift patterns and making dozens more improvements, the company has increased batch sizes by 12%, increased overall production by 20% and now has the capability to meet all of its UK demand without imports.
As a result of the improvements, the company has removed 167 tankers from its supply chain and removed almost a quarter of a million kgs of CO2 from its processes.
Challenging the chemistry
Speaking about the win, Stepan Stalybridge Site Manager, George Forrest said, “We are absolutely thrilled with this win. The improvements we’ve made have come about as a result of challenging ourselves, challenging the chemistry and showing that the answer to a production problem does not always lie in capital expenditure, but on small low and no-cost innovations that have a big impact.”
George was keen to emphasise the effect of the site’s achievements on the local community: “Our efforts have really put the Stalybridge facility on the map in the world of chemicals production. We are now globally recognised as key performers in the detergents, fabric softener and cleaning fluid businesses – and that can only benefit the area in terms of supply chain, job security, reputation and goodwill.”