Top Plant 2012: Pfizer Global Supply
An Rx for manufacturing success: Focus on safety, quality, and uptime is the right prescription for progress at Pfizer.
High-profile companies are continually in the spotlight. Expectations of greatness accompany this attention.
One manufacturer that is no stranger to the limelight is Pfizer Inc. Pfizer Global Supply’s Kalamazoo, Mich. plant, the 2012 Plant Engineering Top Plant winner, manufactures injectable medications, liquid and ointment, and medical device products for humans and animals.
“The Kalamazoo site has always been very aware of safety and quality, but to achieve these levels of success has required continued focus throughout the entire organization,” said Frank Foley, plant manager at the Pfizer plant in Kalamazoo. “All colleagues have to understand that this is a priority for us and part of what we do. These are not optional extras. Only then can you achieve these results in safety, quality, and uptime. This involvement also includes participation in various site-wide programs and recognition celebrations. It’s a race without a finish line.”
Reducing energy use, costs
Each Pfizer facility actively engages in energy management programs. At the Kalamazoo plant a dedicated multidepartment team, which consists of engineering, maintenance, production, environmental, and utility personnel, looks for opportunities for energy savings, greenhouse emission reductions, and conservation projects.
Since 2004, the plant has installed more than 200 energy conservation projects, saving more than 188,000 MWh of electrical power annually. These efforts included facility lighting upgrades, water conservation projects, condensate return improvements, and installing variable frequency drives on numerous pumping systems and HVAC units.
In 2010, the Kalamazoo facility received recognition and praise from Pfizer corporate headquarters for its lighting upgrades. “We replaced metal halide fixtures, high-pressure sodium fixtures, and T12 fluorescent with linear fluorescent T8 lamps and electronic ballasts,” said Jim Taylor, energy manager at the plant. “Most areas of the plant run 24/7, so, where possible, we installed occupancy sensors or timers. This is especially effective in warehouses, office space, mechanical rooms, and production areas that do not operate 24/7. We did the upgrade in one big sweep. It took us about three years.”
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After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.