Achieving Operational Excellence at DuPont Uentrop Plant

Published: 2015

After the economic crisis in 2008, DuPont needed to eliminate inefficiencies, introduce an integrated production system, and change the mindset at the Uentrop plant – one of DuPont's largest in Europe. With diligent commitment to goals of operational management, Uentrop saw significant improvements in efficiency by 2011, exceeding expectations.


Reinhold Sand, Plant Manager at DuPont Uentrop, said, "You may have an excellent product, but if your production isn’t achieving operational excellence, you are open to falling into the trap of inefficiency." To achieve operational excellence, DuPont looked to eliminate wasted time, effort and resources. The DuPont Production System (DPS) was introduced as an integrated system to ensure results that were both sustainable and measurable. The system was designed to engage people and develop organizational capabilities; reach the best implementation of skills and resources; eliminate waste and achieve sustainable competitiveness by 2011. Debuting the production system, DuPont conducted a plant-wide online survey, had in-depth interviews and analyzed needs and concerns.


In 2011, Uentrop had achieved the target goals by including the entire organization in the process - letting leaders introduce change and led by example, listening to employee suggestions, and focusing on improvement. The Uentrop plant saw its overall maintenance costs drop by 14% in two years, and by over 28% in 2014. Streamlining maintenance saved Uentrop 16% on costs per kg of DuPont produced product in two years, and 31% by 2014. Sand later commented, "In two years, we went from being in a dire situation to being a much more efficient plant in much better shape. For us, DPS was the silver bullet."