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This food and beverage/drinks sector case study relates to the sourcing, manufacture and provision of gaskets and seals to Diageo Ireland by Abbey Seals International.

BACKGROUND

Diageo is a global leader in beverage alcohol, manufacturing and distributing some of the biggest drinks brands including Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, JεB, Buchanan’s, Windsor and Bushmills whiskies, Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Don Julio, Tanqueray and Guinness.

Diageo’s St. James’s Gate facility is reputed to produce over 80 million hectolitres of Guinness Draught each year. That’s the equivalent of 8 billion litres. This level of production requires a facility that can rely on every single component, from the largest to the smallest, in its vast array of machinery/equipment to keep running 24/7 and simultaneously provide unfailing quality.

In 2011, Abbey Seals were approached by Diageo as they were looking to consolidate supplier. Up to that point they had been sourcing gaskets and seals from multiple suppliers and were finding it time consuming to ensure that all parts met their stringent quality requirements and met their stated tolerances. This was impacting on production due to excessive time required to source gaskets and seals when failures occurred and so they wanted a permanent remedy to the issues. Simultaneously, they recognized that the costs on these parts should be reviewed in order to enjoy significant cost savings.

THE REQUIREMENT

Diageo’s requirements were four-fold:

  1. Find a single company to supply the wide range of gaskets and seals required across the range of machinery and equipment in their facility. This included Soft Cut Gaskets, Steam Gaskets, Seal Packings, Mechanical Seals, O Rings, Oil Seals, Sanitary Gaskets, Gasket Sheeting and Flexible Bellows.
  2. Find a supplier that could manage the manufacturing of bespoke seal kits for key equipment in a timely manner.
  3. To reduce the procurement overhead for sourcing a constant supply of gaskets and seals that met quality requirements and matched Diageo’s spec and tolerances with zero or minimal deviation.
  4. To reduce the costs involved in the procurement process and also in product costs.

THE ABBEY SEALS SOLUTION

Abbey Seals immediately set about solving the procurement overhead issues by providing Diageo with two dedicated account managers; one being an expert in gaskets and the other an expert in seals. This drastically reduced the overhead on Diageo’s procurement team.

The account managers then reviewed Diageo’s requirements across all areas and built a complete profile of required products with corresponding spec sheets and costs. This met their cost saving requirements, but critically also allowed Abbey Seals to establish an on-hand stock-level of critical components and provide a maximum of 24 hour turnaround on 90% of required products.

This solution also allowed Abbey Seals to guarantee quality levels for all products supplied so Diageo could fit with confidence and plan production and maintenance around defined and stable MTBR rates.

Abbey Seals is proud to be the sole provider to Diageo of:

  • Soft Cut Gaskets
  • Steam Gaskets
  • Packing’s
  • Mechanical Seals
  • O Rings
  • Oil Seals
  • Sanitary Gaskets
  • Bespoke Seal Kits
  • Gasket Sheeting
  • Flexible Bellows

THE RESULT

Diageo now have a trusted supplier that they can depend on to deliver in quality, price and turnaround. They have enjoyed increased production with zero unscheduled down time. Diageo’s procurement staff enjoy drastically reduced overheads in replenishing supplies of gaskets and seals, with many of the key components available on-hand or manufactured to spec within 24 hours. Finally, Abbey Seals have provided significant cost-savings alongside efficiencies of supply.

SUMMARY

Abbey Seals International looks forward to working with Diageo for the remaining time on St. James’s Gate’s famous 9,000 year lease and beyond.

If you are involved in the food and drinks/beverage sector and need an industry leading supplier of gaskets and seals, contact Abbey Seals International today to discuss your needs further.

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