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Trivium Packaging Case Study

29 Jul 2021
Bryan Wingfield
Lean Compacting
Trivium Packaging Reduce Cost and Improve Efficiency

Trivium Packaging has partnered with Mil-tek to implement lean methodology beyond the production line and achieve its goal of zero waste to landfill.

Trivium Packaging delivers innovative and sustainable metal packaging to help leading brands protect their products and stand out on store shelves. They are one of the worlds' largest metal packaging companies and the plant in Nottinghamshire is a key local employer, with an inherent environmental and ethical responsibility to the group and the local area.

One of the key cultures in the plant is to push for Lean manufacturing. The goal of the latest project was to help bring Trivium Packaging to ‘zero-waste-to-landfill’, to help fulfil their environmental credentials.

As part of the assembly of the product, components are brought in, all packaged in paper, cardboard boxes, shrink wrap and plastic banding. This resulted in a large amount of ancillary waste that goes along with the actual product that they use.

Within the production, operators were also having to use forklift trucks to move waste from A to B, which resulted in piles of waste being left out on the production line for collection, and a lot of fork truck activity.

This was an ongoing concern as the plant was always looking to reduce any pedestrian/fork truck interaction.

Although operators were tasked with keeping the working area clean, they were often obligated to either leave the production line to deal with the continuous flow of waste or allow it to pile up in the work area. Not being on the line means that they were not executing their core functionalities.

The Safety Team at Trivium brought in Mil-tek to address the challenge.

Rather than simply addressing the problem at face value, Mil-tek took a wider approach. They ran value stream mapping on the entire plant to observe operator movements and functions. Recognising the lean manufacturing culture at the plant, they showed how the existing ideology of 5S could extend beyond the production line.

The value stream mapping revealed that during a typical shift, each operator would leave the production line over 10 times and walk 300m across fork truck routes outside to a waste container.

Whilst the production line itself was extremely lean focused, the journey time away from the production was demonstrably wasteful and eliminating this process was key to addressing the overall issue.

Mil-tek showed how pneumatic waste separating technology could be used to handling the ancillary waste at source, thereby eliminated the travel time and eradicated the mess. The fact that the solutions were pneumatic meant that they could be installed and connected with relative ease.

The compaction equipment provided by Mil-tek reduced volumes by on average 10:1, reducing the need for external trips to remove the packaging by the same ratio. The machinery was installed and powered by the compressed air line already in place in the factory, which meant they could be installed around the factory in their ideal locations. Having no electrical or hydraulic components, they can be installed right on the production line, maximising efficiency.


The deployment of the proposed solution had a significant impact: double-digit journeys per shift fell to just one per month.

An exercise in 5S had become something more significant, with added benefits: Operators were leaner, accident-risk was reduced, and waste costs began to fall.

Since the initial success and wider roll-out, the Mil-tek solution has been rolled out to 6 locations around the plant, helping Trivium get nearer to achieving zero waste to landfill.

What started as a plan to reduce unsightly waste has led to cost reduction, improved efficiency, reduced carbon footprint, fewer forklift truck movements, fewer waste trucks on the premises, and – most importantly – happier, more satisfied operators.

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