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Acerinox Europa presents the Rafael Naranjo Awards for best employee projects

Monday December 18, 2023 |
General news
The awards honor employees’ ideas for improvement in key areas such as Safety, Environment, and Quality in Progress.

Acerinox Europa hosted the 2023 Rafael Naranjo Awards to recognize the best employee ideas in the categories of Safety, Environment, and Quality in Progress.

The jury of the 2023 Rafael Naranjo Awards was chaired by the director of the Higher Technical School of Engineering of Algeciras, Paloma Cubillas Fernández, and consisted of five other members from the Safety, Environment and Sustainability, Technical, Maintenance, Cold Rolling, Melting Shop, and Hot Rolling departments, as well as the chairman of the Works Council.

In the Safety category, the winning project, titled “New tool for igniting oxygen lances,” by Matías Sánchez Valentín from the Melting Shop Department, proposed a mechanism to avoid worker burns when igniting oxygen lances. This safety measure has already been implemented in the factory.

In the Environment category, the prize went to the project “Grease-filtering and -recovery system,” submitted by Manuel Muñoz Bañón, a worker in the Maintenance Department, who proposed the design and manufacture of a filtering system capable of transforming residual grease from lubricating material into a reusable product. This idea has already been implemented, resulting in environmental benefits and cost savings.

In the Quality in Progress category, the project “Design of the strip-stop system inside the AP-5 cooling chamber to avoid impacts and interior damage” received first prize. The employees who collaborated on this idea, which allows improved product quality, availability, and cost reduction, were Maintenance Department workers Antonio Chico Calvo, Manuel Trashorra Cabas, Víctor Eulogio Lara Montero, Roberto Manuel Riquelme Aguilera, and Juan Manuel Moreno Noria.

This category also included two other winners. Second place went to the project “New granulation-cooling and lubrication systems for the C.C.D. oxy-fuel cutting channel” by Maintenance workers Manuel Muñoz Bañón and Manuel Cazorla Díaz, which has already been implemented and improves product quality and performance, in addition to reducing costs. Third place went to Daniel Ojeda for his project “Color-brightness-cloudy capture and display system,” which creates a value-measurement system that improves the finished materials.

The Rafael Naranjo Awards, with total prize money amounting to €45,000, recognize the best employee ideas in pursuit of continuous improvement in key areas, such as worker safety, cost savings, excellence in production processes, environment, and sustainability.

Recognition of work and commitment

Acerinox Europa also recognized and presented gifts to 31 employees who have been with the company for 15 years, 45 who have been with the company for 25 years, and honored eight men and three women who are celebrating 20 years of zero absenteeism, demonstrating their good health and commitment to the company.

Improving absenteeism and accident rates throughout the production process is key for Acerinox. The workers celebrating 20 years of zero absenteeism this year have demonstrated not only their good health, but above all, their commitment to the company in achieving the industrial efficiency that will be necessary for the Palmones factory to regain its competitiveness.