The time has flown by here at the Ore-Ida plant in Ontario, Oregon. The plant makes all the potato Ore-Ida products for the entire Kraft Heinz company. There is never a dull moment in such a large plant. The plant has the agricultural side of getting raw product from the fields, processing area, and then the packaging area. Each area is about the size of a small plant making the process quite complex.
My Yellow Belt Project focuses on reducing packaging waste. I have been tasked with first looking at standardizing work across the frying areas and the cutting decks to help reduce the waste. The route I took was to start from the desired finish. I looked at what needed to be reduced and backtracked to see what causes the waste. I found several reasons for holds specifically related to the fryer areas and the cutting decks. Between the two areas, every potato will go through at least one. After establishing what needs to be reduced, I hit the floor talking with the operators. There are operators here that have been at the plant for 30 years, so naturally they know quick fixes and little tricks to improve the product that a new operator would not know. I have been talking with the operators and having them teach me what they do when a hold for waste has been called on them. From the knowledge of the operators I have been creating the standard work. Another part of the project is data collection. You need numbers of before and after to tell you if you are making a difference. I have found there are many different avenues of data at the plant that can help support my project.
Outside the plant I have been able to see the great outdoors of Idaho and Oregon. Many of the employees have lived here all their lives and have given me tips of where to go and explore. I have a long list of places to explore in the area. There are places as close by that are just a mere 5 minute drive and places like Portland and the Oregon coast in 6 hours. I have spent much of my time after work checking off that recommendation list. Next time you hear from me I hope to have a bigger dent made on that list.
Ketchup with us next week for a deeper dive of our projects and a high level look at being a part of the MMTP!