Productivity 3 - Future proofing your business - Orora Beverage Cans

Find out how Orora turned around their Wiri plant and delivered a stronger future.


Orora Beverage Cans has transformed their worst performing site into their best. Peter Dobney, GM Resources and Energy, explains that aside from delivering a huge cost saving, the project has also increased plant capacity by 30%.


Less can mean more

Cutting energy waste delivers an immediate boost, the same production at lower cost. How you measure productivity will depend on the business you're in.

In a changing market, keeping up with the competition can be a challenge. Building extra capacity in your operation can enable planning for growth. You can also meet existing production commitments. If you can do that without making a major capital investment, it makes good business sense.

Orora Beverage Cans turned their worst-performing site at Wiri into a model for energy efficiency and business growth at their other sites. An energy audit found opportunities to improve technologies and business processes. This helped Orora become more competitive and reduce wasted energy. The drivers are always about sustainability but also improvements in efficiency and improvements in our bottom line.

What we've managed to do at this plant is reduce our energy use and at the same time increase the productivity so that there's a whole lot less down time and we actually have more capacity in the plant to produce more.

We can now run much faster - up to 30% faster than we were running before. The energy efficiency project has helped improve the working environment. We've got higher lighting levels in the factory. We've got better insulation, so we've got a lot less surfaces that are hot and might burn people. We have much lower noise levels in the factory because we've fitted variable speed drives to a lot of the equipment, and so it's not running flat out all the time. It's just running at the speed that it needs to run.

These are a number of things that have improved the working environment. By implementing these energy efficiency measures, we have, in fact, future-proofed our plant. We now have excess capacity in the plant that we didn't have before and it means that we would not have to invest in more infrastructure or capital equipment to increase our output.

Increased productivity helps businesses prosper, which is good for the economy. And that, in turn, is good for the whole of New Zealand.