Acerinox Europa awards the 2019 Rafael Naranjo Prizes for the best employee improvement projects  

The adoption of employee suggestions for improvements to production processes contributes to improved quality, greater energy efficiency and waste reduction and in turn reduces costs and workplace risks and improves safety. The prizes are awarded in three categories and are worth €45,000.

Acerinox Europa Director, Antonio Moreno, awarded the Rafael Naranjo Prizes to the winners, selected from 24 candidate projects. The judging panel was chaired as last year by Gabriel González Siles, Principal of the Algeciras Higher Polytechnic School, and brought together five representatives from different departments at the plant and the Chairman of the Works Committee.

Once again this year, Acerinox Europa is striving to reward improved worker safety with the sole aim of achieving no accidents, the search for excellence and efficiency in its productive processes and reduction of its environmental impact.

The prizes are awarded in three categories (Quality in Progress, Safety and Environment) and represent a significant acknowledgement with a total value of €45,000.

The winner in Quality in Progress, winning €15,000, was José Manuel Rojas from Cold Rolling for a project called “Cold Rolling Boring Machines: Improvements to the finishing process. Increased recycling of the waste generated”, which has led to reduced consumption of energy and consumables.

The second prize in this category with €10,000 went to Francisco García, also from Cold Rolling, for his project “Protection of the rolling furnace and saving time when the outlet breaks”, also focused on reducing energy and consumables consumption.  

Third prize in Quality in Progress worth €5000 was awarded jointly to Juan Manuel Callejón, Martín Vallejo, José Luis Martín, José Luis Ruiz and Hilario Carretero, all from Machine Maintenance TLC. Their project called “Modification to operation of the descaling valves” is aimed at reducing stoppage time and improving quality.

In the Safety, €10,000, the winning project was ‘New platform for vapour chamber continuous casting of slabs working’, signed by José Enrique Martínez and Noé Alejandro Díaz, both from the Melting Shop, which delivers improved safety and ease of working in assembly and change-overs.

Finally, Daniel Salas, from the Maintenance Department, received the prize for the best Environment project with ‘Improvements to combustion in natural gas boilers’, which facilitates lower gas consumption in the steam boilers by making the burners more efficient. The prize brings with it €5000.


Recognition for length of service and attendance

In addition, the ceremony included a commemoration for 79 workers with 15 years’ service with the business and 23 workers with 25 years’ service. There was also recognition for four employees with no unscheduled absences for 20 consecutive years.