Eurofins Scientific has opened the doors of a food testing laboratory designed using lean thinking at Wolverhampton in the UK.
The global food and feed testing firm said the new lab would be the hub for many of its food testing activities in the UK. It told FoodProductionDaily.com it was a purpose-built replacement for its site in Wergs Road, Wolverhampton, which it had been renting from environmental organization ADAS.
The facility has been constructed to optimize laboratory systems and processes, ensuring maximum efficiency and the highest quality of analytical services for clients.
“As far as we know this is the first site designed with lean thinking in mind,” said Graeme Risdon, managing director of Eurofins Testing UK.
“It does not affect the science but looks closely at process flow and reduction of waste. We aim to ensure that a sample travels no more than six meters and we use the staff flexibly to meet the peaks and troughs of testing.”
Risdon said David Neal, current business improvement manager at Eurofins aimed to roll out the concept across the rest of its European sites. In addition, Chris Jones, has just joined Eurofins in the UK from Nestlé to carry on the lean implementation within the business.
The lean design process involved a re-evaluation of how the lab is organized, from the flow of products and services to the training of staff to ensure a team-focused approach, said Eurofins.
“The facility offers microbiological [testing], food chemistry including nutritional analysis, [and testing for] pesticide residues and contaminants such as heavy metals and mycotoxins. We aim to achieve fast, consistent, turnarounds to meet the demands of the food industry.”
Centers of excellence
Eurofins chief executive Dr Gilles Martin said the Wolverhampton hub represented just the start of the company’s UK investment. It hoped it would “become one of the leading food testing centers of excellence in Europe”.
Risdon said: “With this building, Eurofins effectively started with a blank sheet of paper, allowing us to create an environment that exactly meets the needs of our customers and staff
“The facility brings increased capacity, facilitating organic growth and it is a tremendous achievement by all who have been involved.”
There was room for further expansion of the site as well as regional expansion, he added.