Qatalum at AMPS conference wins award for Quality

Qatalum plays an important role amongst Hydro’s Primary Metal group. At the AMPS Conference in Norway, it highlighted advanced improvement initiatives and picked up an award, led by similar improvement practices, for customer satisfaction.

Qatalum delegates participated in the AMPS Conference from 24th March to 26th March in Oslo. AMPS is Hydro's common platform for continuous improvement which has been developed based on lean principles. On the market day of the conference, multiple Hydro smelters shared their best practices based on AMPS principles which are similar to QPS principle in Qatalum.

Vivek Swarnkar and Tausif Shaikh presented Strategy Deployment implementation in Reduction. Alton Singh and Geir Nilsen presented Qatalum’s Central Maintenance process. Both the presentation were highly appreciated and accepted as a best practice that has the potential to be used across other Hydro Smelters.

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Qatalum at the Conference, L to R: Vivek Swarnkar, Alton Singh, Geir Nilsen and Tausif Shaikh

Key takeaways from the strategy deployment presentation for leaders were ‘maximizing benefit by aligning strategies at all level in organisation’ and ‘management commitment is the key for continuous improvement’. Alton believing that there is a fundamental requirement for, “Correct people in the correct positon” and that, “We must do what we say we are going to do.”

Attendees from all over Hydro, including Hilde Aasheim and Ola Sater were impressed with Qatalum’s approach towards improving maintenance and believes Hydro could learn from Qatalum’s approach.

Qatalum representatives participated in lean workshop with Dr. Jeffrey Liker (author of “The Toyota Way”) focused on “Developing Lean Leaders”. Key learnings from the lean leadership development model:

Commit to self-development
Coach and develop others
Support Daily Kaizen
Create Vision and align Goals

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From left to right: Hilde Aasheim, Roar Orsund, Tom Petter Johansen with award, Faraj Abdullah and Erik Fossum

Qatalum most significantly picked up an award at the Conference as well, winning the Primary Metal Quality Award. The honour was awarded on the merit that the Qatalum Casthouse had reduced claims and complaints through a focus on continuous improvement in quality, resulting in high customer satisfaction. Erik Fossum, Head of Commercial in Primary Metal, Hydro said, “The winner of the PM Quality Award 2014 has achieved outstanding results through the systematic work to continuously improve processes and products,”

The AMPS conference was followed up by site visits. Some of the Qatalum representatives visited the Karmoy and Slovalco smelters. Key learnings from Smelter visits are:
• Training and competency development system of operators at Karmoy
• Positioning persons with good AMPS knowledge in strategic roles
• 5S implementation and its benefits
• Visual management of KPI’s
• ISIT close collaboration with operations for smart solutions