Owens Corning Fiberglass A.S. LTDA TF Plant

Owens Corning Fiberglass A.S. LTDA TF Plant

year category company plant area industry movie
2020 Category B Owens Corning Fiberglass A.S. LTDA TF Plant Brazil

1. Organization Profile

The story of Owens Corning began in the 1930s when a failed experiment with glass building blocks produced a surprising result – it revealed a way to make glass fibers in commercial quantities. That discovery launched more than a new product. It set in motion a remarkable series of events that included the birth of Owens Corning and the spawning of new industries related to the production of fiber glass materials.

From its inception in 1938, Owens Corning has leveraged the power of innovation to achieve its mission of delivering solutions, transforming markets and enhancing lives. And for nearly 75 years, Owens Corning has led virtually every major technological advance in glass fiber technology.

Through the years, Owens Corning innovations have ranged from military applications during World War II and the Fiberglas™ – reinforced 1954 Chevrolet Corvette to the manufacture of materials for Apollo space suits, insulation of the Trans-Alaska pipeline and the Fiberglas™ roof of the Haj Terminal in Saudi Arabia, to name but a few. This spirit of innovation continues today with revolutionary solutions such as Owens Corning’s high-performance EcoTouch™ insulation, introduced in 2011.

Rio Claro TF Plant

Owens Corning Rio Claro Technical Fabrics Plant began its activities in 2008, it´s the only one TF site in Latin America. Its primary activity is Manufacturing of Biaxial and Multiaxial Fiberglass Fabrics and Molding Mats and exports their products all over the world.

Owens Corning Rio Claro TF operates 24/7 with 110 employees.
The current achievements of the Plant are:

• ISO 9001
• Great Place to Work Institute Award winner – National and Regional Category 2015 and 2016
• More than 60% on Quality Complaints Reduction from Customers
• Zero Recordable Incidence Rate (RIR) since 2016

Every new admission, employee, visitor and contractor must fulfill local safety requirements such as:

 The use of protection equipment (safety shoes, earplugs, lenses, and helmet) and cotton made clothes
 The community involvement is a long –standing corporate objective, and OC Rio Claro together with Rio Claro city Commercial and Industrial Association develops social and development programs in vulnerable communities.


2. Milestones on the journey of Manufacturing Excellence

The Technical Fabrics plant from Owens Corning in Rio Claro city, São Paulo state Brazil started its TPM Journey in 2016 and it was mainly impelled by the maturity enhancement of GRS Plant that started its own journey in 2013, collecting remarkable results and consolidating itself as and excellence hub for TPM in OC Latin American operations. So Technical Fabrics (commonly known in the company as TF) also started TPM aiming to leverage their processes of Technical Fabrics based on fiberglass, mainly produced for Windy Energy market players that were being established in Brazil in North-East region and expanding their participation in wind market aggressively. So, TF started the design of the strategy for TPM implementation aiming increase efficiency and reduce losses over a very critical manufacturing process. Our Fabrics are forming most of the wind blades in the world and almost the totality in Brazil.

The critical factors for such type of manufacturing and product are all about Quality and Cost, as even the smallest contamination point can compromise the processing of a fabric roll in our customer, avoiding a perfect chemical reaction with resins and other important components. Length of the roll within the specification is also a key factor, as during the time, many of our customers automated the process of wind blades molding, not being possible to make manual adjustments, and a simple difference in the length can cause material loss, if the roll is longer, and for it is shorter, can make the entire roll be wasted in customer, causing big losses in the blade manufacturing processes. So, having this as a present perspective, the Owens Corning TF leadership started the TPM program in 2016 using the most responsible line for the volume of the plant in that age, represented by MAX 2 line. This line would be from that moment our pilot line.

In 2017, the total demand for Wind energy products strongly dropped due a huge financial crisis in Brazil and remained until 2018, when the management organization was merged with GRS Management team, aiming cost optimization and reorganization. Once again, the TPM Management model as tested as the vector to not only deliver results, but to help to restructure an entire organization. The result of this was the launching of all Pillars Operating in the plant and 100% of our lines working under AM Methodology, besides a continued strategy of machine restoration and a focused-on machine techniques training plan executed by T&D inside a brand-new Training Center launched in the beginning of 2018, and during the hardest year of the crisis. The leadership sent a message for our collaborators and all organization.


3. Benefits Achieved

So, after this strategy being implemented achievements appeared such as the reduction of “short rolls” (Non Conformance Product), and the machine breakdown started to drop as the same for SHE aspects. All these aspects has prepared the plant to be an exportation hub appointed by the business and due the increase of the operational efficiency, be competitive to support the external market and be prepared to regain volume in the internal market.
Part of this strategy about TPM Implementation and results was focused on people formation, led by T&D Pillar the Training Program increased the time focused on technical formation from 50 hours of training/man to 137 hours of training /man, enhancing Quality defect elimination and Machine Breakdowns due Basic Conditions and Knowledge. Additionally, as an example of what occurred in GRS, the FI Mindset became even stronger as all pillars started to work with Loss Trees and define their projects officially nominated in the plant as the “Priority Teams”. This Process establishes that the main losses identified by the business in that year must be covered by Pillars.
The picture below shows how impactful and beneficial the TPM continued implementation towards Excellence level in Rio Claro TF Plant.

• * First Aid Accidents (FAC): On TPM Kick Off, the method for First Aid Cases was changed to follow the same method used by Recordable accidents, aiming to change the operational crew mindset in order to capture all occurrences that could provide for the team a better accuracy in SHE Pillar Loss Tree, which caused an increase on the reports, and allowing SHE Pillar to design an effective plan for risk reduction based on FI Approach.
• *** Right Before TPM Kick Off moment, Breakdowns concept only used to capture Breakdowns as Machine Stoppage with component replacement in our machines. After TPM Adoption, the Breakdown concept was changed into Sudden Machine stoppage from 10min/over with / without component replacement.
• **** Since 2018, most part of Volume delivery concentrated of Product Delivering to Customers in Brazil Extreme Northeast Industrial Hub


4. Key of our Manufacturing Excellence

We want to continue to implement TPM as the way we run our operations in our plant because we believe that through TPM can bring us into a better position every day supported by a going-through-maturity continuous improvement process. From the strong moment when we promoted a transformation in our operations due the benefits the TPM brought to this operation. Rio Claro TF plant is aware about being a positive and strong TPM Implementation case, that made its decision to accelerate TPM Implementation during the hardest financial crisis in Brazil ever, showing to our employees, leadership, customer, society and corporate stakeholders how much benefits we can take from it and by this.

This work is still in place, continuously, and now includes our biggest customer that is moving towards TPM activities having Owens Corning Rio Claro TF Plant as a lighthouse, sending their operational and leadership members to participate on TPM Training, like the TPM Facilitators Promoted together with GRS Plant. This has provided to us plenty of opportunities to raise projects inside the method that fits better and better our customer needs. One of this strong result evidence is that we have been appointed by our business to receive more two lines in our operation in 2020, fulfilling our strategy to be the strategic hub for TF worldwide due the results achieved.

So, in this exciting spirit, remembering and getting constantly inspired by what we have constructed since we started TPM in this plant, we want to continue this successful and transformational journey. So, we are proud to challenge ourselves to apply to the Excellence Level Certification, and crown this 1st part of our journey that belongs to all employees, suppliers and customers that together are becoming day by day, part of these achievements from top to bottom.