IPL is committed to providing quality products and services to the explosives, fertilisers and industrial chemicals sectors.
IPL is a global provider of innovative explosive products, services and solutions under the renowned Dyno Nobel brand. Using BEx principles, product quality is being continuously improved by the detection, analysis and correction of trends during processing to enhance quality and performance. Since 2015, a working partnership between IPL’s explosives research and development laboratories and its manufacturing plants has served to further improve operating procedures, particularly where product analysis is required: see the Case Study on the Dyno Nobel Emulsion Quality System under Explosives Research and Development. Ongoing improvements in both the product formulations and the raw materials sourced have resulted in improved explosives product quality and enhanced performance.
A specialised Quality Management System operates in our Explosives Initiations Systems manufacturing plants and our Australian bulk emulsion manufacturing plants which allows us to track and correct of product quality using a range of KPIs. These metrics include:
• First Pass Yield, also known as Throughput Yield;
• Process Capability Index, a measure of how closely a process is running
to its specification limits, relative to the natural variability of the process;
• Financial cost of non-conforming products; and
• Escape Rate ((Total 'Escaped' Defects / Total Production) x 1,000,000) of
units not meeting our high standards of quality control. Our 2018 Escape
Rate was just 0.30, a better result than our target rate of <1.
The ‘Marketing & Technology Ideas & Work Requests Database’, which was upgraded in 2018, not only provides research and development assistance across the organisation, but also facilitates knowledge sharing and collaboration between IPL's employees across he globe as they find innovative ways to improve product quality.
Our Fertiliser Quality Policy outlines our commitment to providing products and services that meet our customer' needs. During 2018, IPL’s manufacturing quality standards were extended to apply to the fertiliser distribution business, and the IPF Quality Assurance Council was established to drive continuous improvement through the development and delivery of the two-year IPL Key Quality Strategic Roadmap.
Fertilisers contain various impurities which are mostly derived from the raw materials used in fertiliser manufacture. We are committed to providing quality products and services that meet customer needs.
We manufacture a wide range of fertilisers in Australia, and source products from other Australian suppliers and overseas to offer a comprehensive product range. In Australia, fertilisers must meet certain standards and be labelled in accordance with relevant statutory requirements and the Fertiliser Australia National Code of Practice for Fertilizer Description and Labelling. We have set specifications for domestically manufactured and imported fertilisers that meet these standards. Routine laboratory analyses are performed to ensure products meet these specifications.
Our fertiliser manufacturing is monitored by our own Quality Control Laboratories and our Ammonia (Big N), Urea and GranAm products are quality assured to AS/NZS ISO9001:2000 standards. All of our product imports are sourced in compliance with the Fertiliser Australia Purchasing Code of Practice. Product Specifications are set that meet statutory limits and market needs. Certificates of Analysis are sought from suppliers. The delivered products are then analysed through our own Quality Control Laboratories to ensure they are within specification, e.g. maximum limits of heavy metal impurities such as cadmium, lead and mercury. We declare the impurity content of fertilisers on the product label.
Through our Customer Complaints Data Base, we track the percentage of our
fertiliser product sold (imported or manufactured) which has quality control issues
and we set targets to improve/maintain this KPI each year. In 2018, the percentage
of fertiliser sales with quality control issues which were compensated for was just 0.017%, a significant improvement on last year’s 0.071. We examine quarterly 'touchpoint' reports assessed through 'Fertshed', our online customer transactional portal, which also tracks aspects of customer sentiment. This allows management to disseminate the information quickly through internal channels, solving product quality or delivery issues quickly.