The Acerinox Europa Production Manager, Francisco Fernández de la Mata, presented the ‘Rafael Naranjo Awards’ to the winning projects out of a total of 34 presented. As in previous years, the judging panel was chaired by Mr Gabriel González Siles, Director of the Polytechnic School (EPS) of Algeciras, and was formed of five members representing various departments of the factory as well as the Chair of the Work Council.
As in previous years, through these awards Acerinox Europa promotes improvements linked to worker safety, the search for excellence, efficiency in production processes and the reduction of the environmental impact.
The awards distinguish projects in three categories (Quality in Progress, Safety and the Environment) and represent important recognition accompanied by a total prize fund of EUR 45,000.
The first prize in the Quality in Progress category was awarded to Jonathan Domínguez Vélez, from the Melting Shop Department, thanks to his project entitled "Standardisation of the procedure for the introduction of the tundish nozzle in the continuous casting of slabs", which favours productivity efficiency while improving the internal and surface quality of the final product.
The second prize in this category was awarded to a working group from the Maintenance Department, formed of Juan Carlos Pérez Pérez, Jesús Barbarrusa Ferrer and Javier Narbona Gallardo, for the project "Self-starting hydraulic pumps". This project, which has already been implemented, has ensured that the starting pumps are stopped when they are not needed, i.e. 95% of the time, leading to less energy consumption and a longer useful life of the pump.
The third prize in the Quality in Progress category was awarded to Juan Antonio Bocardo Barrena, Sergio Llamas Vías and Javier Molina Salazar, all of whom are from the rolling section of the Cold Rolling Department. Their project entitled “Support for the change of pollastrellis in ZM7” aims to reduce the time of this task and, therefore, increasing productivity.
In the Safety category, the winning project was the “Protective installations in pickling areas”, coined by Manuel Cazorla Corral and David Ponce Fernández, both from the Maintenance Department, which proposes the implementation of tubular steel structural protections as well as PVC screens to increase the safety of workers in the pickling area.
Lastly, the prize for the best Environmental project was awarded to Francisco Corona Fernández, Francisco de Asís Vida Botella, Pedro J. Alfagame Vera and Joan Ramón Serrano Bau, from the Maintenance Department, for their project “Hydrogen as an alternative to the use of natural gas as a fuel", a study that looks at the variables to be considered in this possible transition and its viability.