Hydro's primary metal plant in Høyanger, Norway, has been honored with a “Competence Award 2011” from HR Norge, Norway’s member organization for HR and management personnel.
With AMPS in the front seat
Per Holdø, head of Organizational and Leadership Development in Hydro's Primary Metal business area, says the award is an important recognition of the company's AMPS (Aluminium Metal Production System) program, which aims to optimize and standardize work processes.
“This is a best-practice case,” Holdø explains. “The overall plan is to give the operators more responsibility for helping describe and standardize our work processes. This improves the work, but also makes for a more flexible organization. In addition, the work is more rewarding for the operators.”
Egil Fredriksen, plant manager at Høyanger, is very pleased by the recognition.
“This has been a good cooperation between support functions in Oslo and the organization in Høyanger. This is a recognition of all of the employees. HR, operations and support departments on all levels have contributed to making a complete system. Our motivation has been to create a system that functions in practice in the best spirit of AMPS. The prize will strengthen our reputation internally and externally.”
Contributing to cost reductions
In addition, Holdø says, the effect of the program contributes to Primary Metal’s ambitions to clash costs by $300 per metric ton of aluminium produced.
“The plant has reduced production costs by $260 per ton since 2008,” he says. “That’s about NOK 85 million per year.”
In a nutshell, this part of AMPS develops standard operating procedures (SOPs) for various aspects of production.
The operators themselves helped develop the SOPs, which are available in Hydro’s eLearning online portal. Then operators from throughout the plant can learn the correct way of performing tasks.
The program also ensures that the operators have the knowledge, skills and training to perform the tasks correctly.
Høyanger served as a pilot location for the program, which is now being rolled out to other Primary Metal locations. The program first covered operators, but will include white-collar employees as well.
“This doesn’t have to be limited to Primary Metal, though,” Holdø points out. “It’s a concept for anybody to use.