October 18, 2017

Implementing continuous improvement at Yara's production plants

Yara employees are transforming their workplaces and delivering big improvements in productivity.

It’s all part of the Yara Productivity System (YPS), a new way of working that empowers employees to solve problems where they happen, and then continuously improve the solutions.

Several of the plants where YPS has been implemented have already shown drastic improvements – with plants not only posting production and reliability records, but also helping teams to turbocharge their performance.

What’s more, they’re enjoying their work more: “Our employees know the business, they know their work, so for them it’s important they get the opportunity to show how they can do their jobs better and more efficiently,” says Belle Plaine Plant Manager, Michael Schlaug.

Some examples of productivity improvements:

At Yara Belle Plaine, Canada, a systematic approach to eliminating wasted time and more insourcing of maintenance activities have enabled the plant to improve costs in Q3 by $1 million.

Belle Plaine has also seen five straight months of uptime since the end of the YPS rollout. This has led to a quarterly improvement of 21,000 tonnes of ammonia and 59,000 tonnes of Urea.

Uusikaupunki, Finland, increased volumes by 13,000 tonnes in Q3, despite producing a higher grade of NPK, which typically decreases output.

YPS will be rolled out to 26 of Yara’s fertilizer plants by the end of 2018. YPS will make the largest contribution to the Yara Improvement Program, which will deliver at least USD 500 million in annual EBITDA improvements by 2020.