The company introduced the scheme as part of its phase one AlbaSmartWay initiative, which was activated in 2009 in an effort to improve competitiveness and enhance operational efficiency.

The programme covered dross management, product mix, net billet recovery and pot room metal purity and employees were charged with the task of making savings of US$10M.

The success of phase one has prompted phase two, called AlbaSmartWay Lean Six Sigma Wave 7. It involves 13 employees and embraces seven projects, approved by the ALBA board and designed to save the company in excess ofUS$10M. Logistics optimisation, power plant and calcinations process efficiency are all part of the phase two programme.

ALBA’s CEO Laurent Schmitt said that the company has achieved a noticeable ‘qualitative change’ since the introduction of the scheme, adding that it has been crucial in enabling ALBA to push ahead with operational efficiency objectives and maintain global competitivness.

A total of 25 ALBA employees will be certified under the scheme by year-end 2012.