Ash Grove Durkee plant wins company’s top energy award

Ash Grove Cement Company’s Durkee, Ore., plant won top honors in the company’s annual Maintenance Excellence Program (MEP) competition for 2011. According to Ash Grove Assistant Vice President of Manufacturing Bruce Newell, “Our Durkee, Ore., plant was the MEP award recipient in 2010 and continued in its quest to keep the trophy there by maintaining a high standard of performance in executing MEP strategies in 2011.”

Durkee Plant Manager Terry Kerby said, “Winning another Ash Grove award for how we manage costs reflects well on our entire team. Our plant remains competitive in the marketplace, and we ensure Ash Grove customers receive a quality product at a reasonable price by effectively implementing MEP strategies.” The Durkee plant also received the 2011 Ash Grove Energy Management (AGem) award.

Since 2008, eight Ash Grove cement manufacturing plants and two grinding facilities have competed to earn the award. Each facility is evaluated on several “Key Performance Indicators” (KPI) in conjunction with MEP posting requirements and the actual maintenance cost per equivalent ton of cement. The MEP key performance indicators show both financial and functional performance as to how well plants are mastering the MEP concept and improving their overall maintenance performance.

Ash Grove’s MEP requires a total plant effort, according to Newell. “Durkee has proven that the hourly craft personnel in the plant make a difference by their participation on key MEP teams as well as by writing work requests and work orders, adding pertinent information to work order closing comments that contribute to establishing a valuable work history in the Avantis database, which can then be used in the future to troubleshoot problems and streamline work procedures,” he said.

The Durkee, Ore., Ash Grove cement manufacturing plant employs 109 and began operations in 1979.  The plant expanded in 1998 and is certified as ISO 14001 compliant. The Durkee plant has earned awards including: the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star Award in 2010, the Pacific Northwest Chapter of Air and Waste Management Environmental Achievement Award in 2010, and several safety awards from the Portland Cement Association, as well as Ash Grove’s President’s Safety awards.

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