Johnson Matthey is a leading FTSE 250 company specialising in sustainable technologies for the automotive, energy and chemicals sectors.
Johnson Matthey (JM) invested substantially in the building and operating of a cathode active materials manufacturing plant in Europe, with the objective of delivering high performing products to Li-Ion cell manufacturers for use in battery modules/packs for electric vehicle production.
The key challenge for JM was ensuring they would be operationally ready given the novelty of the product. This product was new to the industry, requiring new equipment that hadn’t been used in this environment before, with a new team in a foreign country and limited experience building a new plants.
Vendigital was asked to assess the client’s operational readiness status, specifically looking at novelty elements within the process and identifying mitigation plans to ensure the plant started up right first time:
• Providing industry expertise: Vendigital’s team comprised leading industry experts with 30 years’ experience working with battery materials and commercial scale-up to provide technical insight
• Cross functional workshops: Working collaboratively with cross functional teams to draw insight and learnings to develop a robust engineering maintenance strategy. New risks were identified through the use of interactive workshop tools encouraging cross collaboration
• Supplier interviews: Direct engagement with the suppliers enabled a deeper understanding of the technology and associated risks, whilst we were able to assess the competencies
• Visibility of key risks: Development of a Tableau dashboard providing a central point to capture operational risks which could be access by the whole team
• Engaged with 100 employees to identify novelty risks across equipment design, line performance, product quality, maintenance and instrumentation
• Developed the engineering maintenance readiness strategy outlining the key activities, plan, risks and resource requirements for plant start up
• Identified 270 novelty risks and developed detailed mitigation and action plans to effectively address them
• Developed an interactive dashboard providing a heat map of the key risks and actions that would become the tool to centralise all operational information during the commissioning/ start-up phase whilst creating the platform for active risk management
Performed schedule risk analysis to understand the impact of risks on the outturn dates and opportunities to re-sequence and accelerate the plan. Using Monte Carlo analysis, a 42 week schedule slippage was calculated based on a worst case scenario
Vendigital was able to bring industry experts and a fresh pair of eyes to review and challenge the team’s current thinking, identifying key risks to help ensure we hit start up ‘right first time’.
One of the biggest benefits was the risk tool they developed with the ability to update it so creating active risk management that was visible to all team members.
The Vendigital team has been invaluable throughout the process, collaborating with the in-house team and providing reassurance to our operational readiness activities.”
Richard Rose, Deputy Operations Director for Battery Materials