A SIMPLE recycling coup that will save one of Australia’s largest aluminium smelters at least $200,000 a year has taken out the top prize at the annual Tomago Aluminium Innovation and Excellence Awards ceremony in Newcastle.
Tomago Casthouse Operator, Allan Cranney, took the time to devise a recycling process that sends aluminium waste, known as swarf bricks, back into the Tomago furnaces for re-use rather than sending them off-site with other waste material for processing.
Allan’s recycling plan is set to save the company around $200,000 annually, both in reduced waste processing fees and the value added by putting the material back through the Tomago furnaces.
For his efforts Allan was named overall winner of Tomago Aluminium’s Innovation and Excellence Awards at a gala night in the Starlight Room at Wests New Lambton and was presented with a unique trophy by Tomago Aluminium chief executive, Matt Howell.
He also won international flights and accommodation for two to a destination of his choice.
Allan said the win came as a complete surprise, exclaiming that Tomago Aluminium have a long list of clever innovators who deserve such recognition.
“I couldn’t believe it when they called out my name because there were so many other departments with so many good ideas,” he said.
“I take my hat off to Casthouse Metal Scheduler, Robbie Cox, who did all the calculations on the various aluminium grades to make sure it would work. There are a lot of very clever people at Tomago Aluminium.”
The annual Tomago Aluminium Innovation and Excellence Awards recognise the efforts of individuals and teams employed by the company in improving operations at the smelter.
Tomago chief executive, Matt Howell, said the company encouraged staff to strive for continuous improvement and to never be afraid of suggesting new or different ways of doing their jobs.
“Our people are the experts in their individual fields, so they are the best-placed to identify ways of working more efficiently and effectively,” Matt said.
“Allan’s idea was a simple one that has saved the business a great deal of money already and is set to save a great deal more and that is money that can be re-invested in the business.”
Demonstrating the commitment of Tomago Aluminium employees to innovation, a total of 200 employees were nominated for a range of awards with category winners presented with special trophies and flights for two to anywhere in Australia.
Other winners on the night were;
- Excellence in Health, Safety and Environment
- Individual winner: Dave Miller
- Team winner: Critical Process VDC Casting team – Chase Bennett and Brodie Fairhall
- Excellence in Cost and Waste Reduction
- Individual winner: Danny Oakley
- Team winner: Fixed Retainers team – Dallas Edwards and Chad Moremon
- Excellence in Process Stability and Quality
- Individual winner: Ricky Dent
- Team Winner: Stem Brush Implementation team – Andrew Withers, Greg Wall, Zac Trigg, Harrison Spruce, Brendan Corr, Marshal Holden and Jamie Schreiber
- Apprentice of the Year
- Luke Johns
IMAGE | Tomago Aluminium CEO, Matt Howell and Casthouse Operator, Allan Cranney.