At LA FARGA, we like to think differently and innovate our daily processes. It is sometimes not a question of innovating with large proposals but of making small changes to improve our efficiency and wellbeing at work. Some of the best practices we have developed in recent years are indicated below:
IMPROVING INDUSTRIAL AND TECHNOLOGICAL VOCATION OPPORTUNITIES
In order to improve industrial and technological vocational opportunities, we have made a video with the adolescents.cat web page. In the video one of the presenters becomes an industrial mechanic for a day and describes the details of the job.
PARTICIPATION IN THE "EMPLOYMENT FOR THE LOCAL INDUSTRY" PROGRAMME
The “Employment for Local Industry” programme in the Country of Osona, which is promoted by Osona’s Economic Development Agency, Creacció, aims to help companies find appropriate professional profiles and aids local people to improve their skills in order to achieve the professional profile required.
In 2018 La Farga once again took part in the programme, with the specific training course “Operations and Basic Processes of the Metallurgical Industry”, which was aimed at unemployed people aged between 20 and 55.
The training course included the development of personal and cross-sector skills, technical and industrial training, machinery and transport handling, risks at work, continued improvement and a visit to the Copper Museum.
MORE EXPEDIENT AND EFFICIENT DISTRIBUTION IN FRANCE AND ENGLAND
Two important improvements were undertaken by the company in order to continue its role as an established leader in the French market. A new warehouse in Avignon (Provence - Alpes – Cote d'Azur region) now provides a quicker and more dispersed product distribution and facilitates low-volume purchases. The proximity of this warehouse also improves efficiency in terms of delivery meeting client expectations. We have also attained Sanistar tube certification, which is essential for supplying the French health market. This certificate has also meant that product sales have remained stable.
In Leighton Buzzard (Bedfordshire, England) we have a storage space for a more efficient distribution and which is closer to the sales territory.
THE TALENT OLYMPICS
La Farga has been organizing the Talent Olympics programme since 2017. This unique initiative seeks to identify and develop talent in company staff. It consists of the implementation of talent-training initiatives that promote growth in the workplace and personal preparation for other opportunities within the company. All groups and areas within La Farga have their own associated development programme. During 2018, 64 training initiatives were carried out in which a total of 385 employee’s participated.
WE REMAIN COMMITTED TO DUAL PROFESSIONAL TRAINING
We currently have three students in the dual vocational training modality - two in mechanics and one in the sales area.-This initiative combines academic training with learning in a company. The aim of dual vocational training is to increase the number of qualified people in businesses, improving the training of students, and making it more useful for the productive system while increasing employability among young people.
EXTERNAL EVALUATION IN THE CORPORATE RESPONSABILITY OF LA FARGA
One of our clients in the rail sector subjected us, as a supplier, to an external evaluation process with respect to our involvement in corporate responsibility (in environmental, social and ethical areas in responsible operations and purchases) using the EcoVadis solution. EcoVadis is a cooperative platform that allows large-scale businesses to evaluate the environmental and social performance of its suppliers.
Gold in the 2015 Ecovadis CSR Rating:: 82 points out of 100
TRANSMISSION, HOW TO PASS ON THE VALUES OF A FAMILY BUSINESS
Transmission is a programme created by Ferran Fisas, a member of the La Farga family business, which has been designed to create a reserve team for the future shareholders and board members of this family business. A business-orientated family focuses on a long-term future; it seeks to transmit its legacy to future generations.
The programme lays the foundations that transmit the values of this family business through the generations, and seeks to ensure that the survival of the organisation is as harmonious as possible. According to Fisas, “it is much more than a training programme for future shareholding partners of the family business. It is a way to understand the continuity and the permanence of our foundational values within the family business, which requires the involvement of its members across the board and over the generations”.
19 conferences on Transmission this 2015
OUR COMMITMENT TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF LA FARGA TUB
In 2014 La Farga Tub found itself at a standstill, it needed a major relaunch in order to guarantee viability and duration. We therefore designed a new process that facilitates production costs – mainly in energy savings – the extension of our product range and improvements in quality. At the same time, in order to deal with this increased product volume and diversification, we are also working on improving our Sales Department.
In 2015 we initiated our investment and created action plans in La Farga Lacambra and La Farga Tub. This investment covers the production of the main tube in the La Farga Lacambra foundry to the finished product in La Farga Tub.
In order to guarantee the success of this new project, in addition to economic investment, we involved the Company Committee in the establishment of a competitive agreement, which enabled us to attain the commitment of our entire staff. In order to further promote this investment, we will be introducing a fourth shift in the production sector in 2016.
As this is an innovative investment, we have the cooperation and support of the Centre of Industrial Technological Development (the CDTI) and both national and international engineering sectors. Leadership in this investment has taken place in engineering and has produced tangible results in machinery and infrastructures; e.g. the storage area has been increased in order to offer improved client services. The project has resulted in an increased number of suppliers, the majority of whom are from the local area.
THE MONITORING OF THE LA FARGA TUB FACTORY TO INCREASE COMPETITIVENESS, EFICIENCY AND EFFICACY
In its decision to implement the digitalization of its smart factory, La Farga Tub has increased its monitoring and control system, which began with MICO24, to two additional machines, which are essential in the current production process.
This extension has meant a qualitative leap in the organization and management of the plant, making it more efficient, effective and sustainable. The system constantly supervises the key parameters of various machine components, such as tension, intensity, temperature and vibrations, so providing an intelligent preview that facilitates and improves the decisionmaking process and the undertaking of appropriate actions, as it is capable of forecasting and providing warnings with respect to errors and breakdowns before these occur. The system reduces the need for unforeseen stoppages that paralyse the production system. It also increases profitability, reduces occupational hazards and lowers expenses, while increasing energy efficiency. The entire installation has been created using an EtherCAT communications network
COMMITTED TO FUTURE PROFESSIONALS
La Farga Lacambra and La Farga Tub have taken part in dual vocational training on electro-mechanical maintenance and the control of automatic production lines. Dual training is a vocational training concept in which students become apprentices and combine their training in an educational centre with productive activity in a company
THE TALENT PROJECT
The aim of this project is to identify talent within the company using objective numerical information provided by skills evaluation and an analysis of goal attainment. The idea is to secure the loyalty of talented individuals and to achieve better people and better employees.
To this end we have established individual progress routes that are planned as part of the talent pathways defined by La Farga. This process involves the search for commitment and co-responsibility in this area of development, with signed plans of several years’ duration, interspersed with review procedures. During this professional process, we facilitate, accompany, guide and evaluate participants with tutors, mentors and coaches.
THE 0 ACCIDENTS AND BEYOND PROGRAMME
Launched in 2013, the programme continues to develop over the years with the introduction of initiatives in different areas of risk prevention, in 2015, the most important were: the placement of posters in the factory, the definition of a new skill, the establishment of responsibility in management positions and the showing of awareness-related videos.
THE 4TH HEALTH AND SAFETY WEEK
From 13 to 17 April, the Health and Safety Week was held, where different initiatives took place to promote the prevention of accidents at work and to promote a culture of risk prevention in the company. This year’s event went beyond prevention at work and included awareness about aspects that affect employees in personal terms.
In 2015 we undertook 5 installations using CAC technology for overhead electrical cables. Our conductor material has been specially designed to respond in extreme conditions, and has been installed in areas in both Spain and Chile with highlycorrosive atmospheres, snowfall and strong winds.
THE NEURONAL NETWORKS PROJECT
The aim of this project is to analyse all process and quality data pertaining to La Farga Rod in order to identify the critical variables that affect the quality of our processes and products in order to achieve greater stability.
We previously had a large amount of information, however data management was not based on statistical criteria or neural networks, which did not allow us to detect the relationship between the different variables and their influence.
INTERMODAL TRANSPORT, MORE ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY
We are committed to the distribution of our products by means of intermodal lorry and train transport, this system allows us to reduce our carbon imprint throughout our value chain.
THE LA FARGA PURCHASING POLICY
In 2015 we approved a new purchasing policy, which establishes basic procedural guidelines to ensure that relations with our suppliers are undertaken in accordance with the values of La Farga, while respecting our policy of corporate responsibility and the suppliers’ code of ethics.
THE 3RD VICENTE FISAS COMELLA AWARD
This is an award presented by the La Farga Foundation for the best final degree project in any academic field undertaken in the University of Vic, with a donation of € 1,000 to the winning project.
One of the requirements for the competition is that the work reflects the values promoted by the La Farga Foundation: with knowledge applied to social development, creativity as a basis for innovation and progress and awareness with regard to environmental respect and sustainability.
In 2015 the winning project was entitled Positive Behavioural Support. The Prevention and Detection of Behavioural Disorders at School, which analysed behavioural issues among students in schools, focusing on prevention and detection in order to reduce such conditions in class.
THE 5TH LA FORJA DE L'ARAM AWARD, THE BACTERICIDAL PROPERTIES OF COPPER
This award is the result of a cooperation agreement between the Vic Art School and the La Farga Foundation, through which the school carries out a concept competition for the creation of copper and copper alloy sculptures, which is aimed at the students from the Department of Ceramics and Metalworking.
LIGHTING REPLACEMENT AT LA FARGA TUB
The 357 250W mercury vapour lights at de La Farga Tub have been replaced by 95W LED lights with a light intensity of 10,000 lumens. Estimated consumption savings with this initiative amount to 70%, in addition to savings in maintenance costs, as these new lights require fewer component changes than their predecessors. This measure has also improved working conditions for factory employees.
IMPROVEMENT IN FUMES PURIFICATION SYSTEMS AT LA FARGA LACAMBRA
Some of the improvements that have been implemented during the final quarter of 2015, and which will end during the final quarter of 2016 will be a change of additives in order to eliminate acids and VOCs and the removal of the CMG2 reactor (dry flue gas cleaning). The quench has also been modified in the same installation, which has allowed us to increase the efficiency of the smoke purification system.
These improvements are budgeted to the amount of 180 thousand euros.
NOISE POLLUTION REDUCTION PLAN FOR OUR LOCAL AREA
Some of the improvements implemented to date are: the installation of static ventilation systems in the warehouse and furnace at La Farga Rod, the modification of doors, the establishment of operational timetables for the crusher and the trammel, the replacement of two vertical casting towers for new models with a frequency converter, the improvement of enclosures in the compressor room and the modification of the orientation of the vertical outlet, among others.