Novozymes North America wins 2000 NAME Award

Novozymes North America, Inc., a Franklinton, NC, manufacturer of enzymes, was the winner of the 2000 North American Maintenance Excellence (NAME) Award.

By Ron Holzhauer, Managing Editor, Plant Engineering Magazine March 1, 2001

Novozymes North America, Inc., a Franklinton, NC, manufacturer of enzymes, was the winner of the 2000 North American Maintenance Excellence (NAME) Award. The key to the company’s maintenance success, and the driving factor behind winning this prestigious award, according to maintenance manager Owe L. Forsberg, was the company’s proactive approach to assuring continuous improvement. Keeping pace with technology while continually evaluating current processes are the primary ingredients in the success formula.

“Novozymes’ maintenance department has two primary tasks,” according to Forsberg. “First, it provides a myriad of maintenance services to three production departments (fermentation, recovery, and granulation), a pilot plant, laboratories, and the administration building. The department also maintains the environmental operations equipment and maximizes the operation and efficiency of the various utilities throughout the plant (steam, compressed air, electricity, water, and chilled water).

“The second task,” continued Forsberg, “is to provide a product, which in our case is to help increase the capacity (amount of enzymes) produced in the plant. The maintenance department, in essence, is a business partner with production. The team approach between the two departments has been an unqualified success.”

In summarizing his department’s strengths, the maintenance manager pointed to their vision and goal setting, PM and PdM programs, resource planning, failure analysis, storeroom operation, best practices sharing program, training and development, teamwork and empowerment, and benchmarking.


Novozymes’ maintenance department currently has 38 employees and an annual budget of $5.5 million. A decentralized approach is used to maximize the ownership idea between maintenance and production operators to keep the equipment running continually and efficiently. This “my machine” concept is extremely important because the plant operates two 12-hr shifts, all year (except for annual shutdowns when portions of the plant are taken offline in stages for major work or regulatory compliance). The production operators complete 11% of the PM work orders (primarily lubrication) and his maintenance teammates do the rest.

Six functions/individuals report directly to Maintenance Manager Forsberg. They are the maintenance supervisor; utility group leader; instrumentation/electrical engineer, who is an HVAC specialist; planning supervisor, who does the scheduling and purchasing; mechanical engineer, who does failure analysis; and the staff assistant.

Six technical groups (teams) serve the facility. A technical team is assigned to the Fermentation building, and a second team to the Recovery and Granulation buildings. Storerooms are maintained in each of these locations to facilitate the maintenance efforts. A third team is composed of electrical/instrumentation technicians that move where needed.

The other three technical groups include a predictive maintenance technician, an individual who handles jobs only in the administration areas, and four shift mechanics who work rolling 12-hr periods and handle utilities and emergencies and cover requirements during the night shifts.

A small amount of maintenance, including housekeeping and grounds, is outsourced.


About 90% of the maintenance workload is planned, with the other 10% on an emergency basis. A CMMS provides job lists, with top priorities given to production-related work and those based on regulatory requirements. Novozymes performs nearly 17,000 PMs and about 3800 calibrations annually. Schedule compliance is in the 85% range. The current maintenance work order backlog is about 2200 hr.

One technician is dedicated exclusively to predictive maintenance activities. He moves through the plant on a regular route, with priority given to the equipment that most affects production output, product quality, and cost. The PdM program includes vibration monitoring, with 234 pieces of equipment covered; oil analysis, with 160 pieces inspected; thermography, which includes site-wide checking of all electrical panels; and motor analysis, including 2350-hp compressors, on a yearly basis.

The PM and PdM programs have realized substantial reductions in the number of breakdowns, while improving safety. Breakdowns dropped from 30 in 1996 to 12 in 2000; the emphasis placed on “working safely” reduced accidents from 10 to 1 during this period. Root cause analysis is performed for all major equipment breakdowns.


Maintenance department training is an extremely important aspect of current and future improvement plans. Consequently, every member of the maintenance staff must go through several forms of training.

Since the staff is small, extensive interviewing is done prior to selecting new hires to make sure the match is good from both a technical and personal point of view. An engineering degree is required for supervisory positions. Ideally, team members will be proficient in at least two of the three prime areas: mechanical, electrical, and instrumentation. (It is very unlikely an employee would be strong in all three.)

The training program includes a combination of technical training associated with plant equipment, and “soft skills” dealing with areas such as communication, motivation, and partnering. The plan is broken into three areas: learning center, team vendor seminars, and on-the-job training.

The learning center is a CD-ROM based interactive program. It includes a mechanical, electrical, HVAC, and instrumentation library; computer training; basic reading, writing, and math skills; and production process information. Future programs will be added on regulatory information, waste water treatment, financial and soft skills, and more.

Team vendor training brings manufacturers’ representatives onsite to provide technical seminars. These are usually half-day sessions providing theoretical and practical information about specific pieces of equipment.

Maintenance group leaders are responsible for on-the-job training. Training is documented via a checklist.

Novozymes also offers a couple of other company-wide training venues. An intranet site is available throughout the six-plant network and features reports, benchmarking data, and best practices suggestions. Also, the company has a Maintenance Technology Coordination Team consisting of one individual from each plant that has the responsibility of assuring that best practices are developed and shared among each location.

About the company

Ron Holzhauer

Novozymes North America, Inc., is located in Franklinton, NC, about 25 miles north of Raleigh. The facility, which opened in 1978, now occupies six buildings totaling 450,000 sq ft on a 45-acre industrial campus. The company owns an additional 1500 acres.

The highly automated facility produces industrial and food grade enzymes in liquid and granulate form. The batch process involving fermentation, recovery, and granulation operates round the clock, round the year. All process liquid wastes are recycled as soil amendments. The site is ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certified.

The company, headquartered in Denmark, generates about $700 million in sales and employs 3100, with 410 in Franklinton. Novozymes A/S has five other plant locations: China, Brazil, and three in Denmark. The company is the world’s largest enzyme manufacturer.

Name Award

Ron Holzhauer

The North American Maintenance Excellence (NAME) Award is conducted by the Foundation for Industrial Maintenance Excellence. The program is designed to recognize companies that excel in performing the maintenance process to enable operational excellence.

The program has five major objectives:

  • Increase the awareness of maintenance as a competitive edge in cost, quality, safety, service, and equipment performance

  • Identify industry leaders, along with potential or future leaders, and highlight best practices in maintenance management

  • Share successful maintenance strategies and the benefits derived from their implementation

  • Understand the need for managing change and stages of development to achieve maintenance excellence

  • Enable operational excellence.

    • The Award is open to all plants and facilities in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Each applicant receives a benchmark feedback document showing the company’s stage of development across the various evaluation categories, and how data provided compares to top performing companies in the areas of organization, work processes, materials management, employee development, and costs.

      For additional information on the NAME Award, contact Richard L. Dunn, Plant Engineering magazine, 2000 Clearwater Drive, Oak Brook, IL 60523; e-mail; or visit the Award’s web site:

      Maintenance mission

      Ron Holzhauer

      The company’s goal is to create a world-class maintenance function. The official statement of the Maintenance Department expressing this goal is: “We will be responsible and accountable for the capacity, quality, and services of equipment and facilities.”

      The road to attaining this goal is to continually develop, implement, and refine systems and procedures in all aspects of “The Maintenance Triangle” (planning, action, and evaluation). At the same time the company is focusing on training and empowerment to improve efficiency and ownership by employees.

      Hard work, large returns

      Ron Holzhauer

      Maintenance Manager Owe L. Forsberg was the point man for the NAME Award initiative. The 10-yr company veteran, along with numerous members of his staff, worked nearly a year gathering the information and crunching the numbers required by the application form.

      “Our initial goal was to benchmark Novozymes of North America against other world-class companies, and learn some of their best practices. While gathering the numbers for NAME participation, we took a very critical look at everything we were doing. This step, in itself, was worth the hard work. Winning the Award was just the culmination of a tremendously informative experience,” said Forsberg.

      The maintenance manager went on to point out that the site assessment conducted by three outside experts provided an even greater perspective into their own evaluation of the company. “These men were insightful, thorough, and knowledgeable,” said Forsberg. “The strengths and opportunities report they provided on our organization, work processes, and materials management after their three-day visit would have been worth the effort and expense, even it we had not won the Award.”