SIX SIGMA / Quality and the Challenge of Big Data
Within the continuous improvement process, ICT Ibérica puts special effort in people training, as one of the main pillars. In a social, economic and industrial world where data have an increasingly higher impact, the Quality department has echoed the Six Sigma methodology, focused on data-based problem solving. In that context, four members of the quality team obtained the Green Belt Six Sigma certification, having passed a theoretical exam and presenting a project to the Top Management. Each of the Green Belt projects, approaching real problems through data-driven problem solving, has generated a positive economic return. The certificates were handed out by José Luis Pérez Quintana, General Director, proving that CT Iberica is firmly committed towards a dynamic working environment that need experts capable to properly manage data to drive the effort to continuously improve our processes
Health and Safety first
ICT spa is pleased to announce that it has obtained the ISO 45001 certification, for the protection of the health and safety of its employees in the workplace.
This certification has replaced the previous one obtained in compliance with the obsolete OHSAS 18001 standard.
With ISO 45001, ICT spa has managed to further improve its health and safety management system through compliance with clear and strict guidelines as required by the new legislation and has strengthened its commitment towards this sensitive and important issue.
ICT Ibérica contributes to the fight against covid-19
Since the start of this pandemic, ICT Ibérica has cooperated closely with institutions active in the fight against COVID-19. The company’s contribution has mainly focused on three areas:
- Locally, ICT Ibérica has contributed by helping the Ribera Baja social services, which support the municipalities of El Burgo de Ebro, Fuentes de Ebro and Mediana de Aragón. It has provided the services of its purchasing department to find vendors that would assure the necessary supplies, especially at the beginning of the crisis, when it was more difficult to obtain protection equipment. Concrete donations included gel dispensers, disinfecting gel, protective overalls, disposable gowns, sleeve covers, caps, shoe covers, gloves, goggles and masks.
- Regionally, it has contributed with a significant monetary donation to the “Aragón en Marcha” programme, promoted by the Aragón Government and other social agencies and coordinated by CEOE Aragón, an institution that has dealt with collecting the donations by the various Aragonese companies, funnelling them towards the purchase and distribution of medical devices and personal protection equipment within the Aragonese region. Furthermore, three vehicles of the Aragonese emergency service 061 have been outfitted with the appropriate safety equipment.
- Nationally, it has contributed with a further significant monetary donation to UNICEF, which was allocated for purchasing medical devices and personal protection equipment, distributed nationwide.
ICT Ibérica is proud of the contribution it has made and keeps being committed to fighting COVID-19.
At the same time, the company has maintained a high level of disinfection, protection and safety at its facilities in order to seek to prevent infections among workers and their families.
We share our products - ICT Poland provides help during the pandemic
Throughout this particularly difficult period, we have supported and continue to support local institutions. We donated toilet paper, kitchen towels and tissues to all hospitals, nursing homes and other institutions in the area that are fighting on the front line against the epidemic. Among these: Provincial Hospital of Słubice, Independent Public Hospital Complex of Szczecin, Nursing Homes of Słubice, Tursk, Pyrzyce based in Żabów, Kamień Wielki. Our company also joined the Widzew Łódź fans initiative by providing help to the hospitals in Łódź.
In short, we delivered 765 pallets with disposable products made by us, for a total of 18 tonnes. We also shared over 10,000 protective face masks and 15 litres of disinfectant.
In addition, the company made a financial contribution to the Gorzów Wielkopolski Regional Hospital, aimed at fighting the epidemic - I’ve seen a lot in my life and I’ve had diverse experiences. However, the last few days have been extraordinary from this perspective. (...) I warmly thank you on behalf of our patients and our employees. This is real solidarity. I guarantee, on behalf of all the hospital staff, that we will not forget this gesture, and when we will be put to the test, we will be up to it - writes on his Facebook profile Robert Surowiec, the vice chairman of the Regional Hospital of Gorzów Wielkopolski.
ECOLABEL licences renewed according to the new criteria
The year 2020 marks an important milestone for the Ecolabel certification as well.
All groups’ involved sites (Italy, Spain and France) have successfully completed the procedure to renew the certificate in accordance with the new, stricter, criteria that entered into force on 1 January 2020 with the Commission Decision (EU) 2019/70.
This is yet another demonstration of ICT Group commitment to implement a responsible management of
production processes to control and minimise environmental impacts.
Circular economy: the experience of ICT Ibérica
Circular economy: since 2019, we at ICT Ibérica have been working to create a “closed loop” to reuse materials and energy.
One of the projects that has received an immediate response was the Cardboard core recovery which consists in remediation of the damaged areas of the cores for reuse in the following lower format.
This measure involves recovering 8,600 cardboard cores per year, equivalent to savings of 360 tonnes, which leads to a reduction in associated transport of 225 trips with consequent reduction in CO2 emissions.
In this way, the linear economy that is based on the “obtain-use-and-discard” triad is transformed into a “closed loop” called circular economy in which the residue is converted into a resource, which can be used again by the production plant.
Innovation, safety and increased production capacity: 3 concepts that are an integral part of the ICT France project
After the start-up of the automatic warehouse, ICT France is continuing its growth path: the latest two converting lines are now fully operational, thus increasing the company’s production capacity and productivity.
These new technologically advanced, high-performance lines ensure highest standards of product quality to meet the current and future demands of the most demanding customers.
As always, special focus was placed on safety; in fact, these are latest generation systems that can be controlled using digital technology, which also makes work easier for operators in order to ensure even greater safety.
LGV systems were also implemented, namely automated handling systems for products leaving the converting area, which make it possible to optimise the logistics process and streamline operations.
The overall project has created new jobs and further recruitment is planned for an additional line that will start up by the end of the year.
Final victory for ICT in Europe on patent infringement case against ESSITY
Industrie Cartarie Tronchetti S.p.A (ICT), a Lucca-based company and leader in the category of high quality tissue paper products for domestic use, with subsidieries in Italy, Spain, Germany, France and Poland, is pleased with the now final decisions of the Paris Court of Appeal, the Higher Regional Court of Karlsruhe and the Barcelona Provincial Court dismissing Essity’s claims of patent infringement in regards to ICT’s three ply toilet paper. The company is also satisfied to have demonstrated beyond doubt that its Branded and Private Label products are produced based on its own proprietary process, and patented under European patent 2 353 859.
The Paris decision, which is the most recent, ends a long-running patent infringement litigation with Essity and affirms ICT can continue to produce and distribute absorbent paper based on its own proprietary technology. The three courts in France, Germany, and Spain, have confirmed ICT’s argumentation that it is using its own novel technology, also patented. Essity’s claims of infringement were based on a patent originally filed by Georgia Pacific, and subsequently becoming Essity’s.
The patent litigation began in 2016 when Essity sued ICT in France, Germany and Spain for the alleged infringement of its patent related to the technical solution for the bonding of three layers of tissue for paper products such as high quality, soft and bulky, toilet paper.
In France, Essity claimed that ICT had breached the French part of its European patent 1 081 284 and that the toilet paper marketed as Foxy Soie Plus, and also certain other Private Labels, all produced by ICT France, had infringed on their patent. Essity demanded that all production operations be halted. The rolls of toilet paper were carefully analysed and there were no findings of infringement. The two French courts in first instance and in appeal rejected the claims and additionally the courts have ordered that Essity pay compensation for the legal fees to ICT Italy and ICT France.
In Germany, the case was first taken to the Mannheim District Court, well reputed in patent matters. The lawsuit mainly focused on the complex questions regarding the construing of the claims of Essity’s patent. The court ruled in favour of ICT, and Essity filed an appeal. In May 2019, the Higher Regional Court of Karlsruhe also ruled that the German part of the patent 1 081 284 was not infringed by products marketed by the German subsidiary of ICT.
In Spain, after a first decision in favour of Essity at the lower court, the Barcelona Provincial Court clearly stated in a very well written appeal that ICT’s products, and in particular, Foxy Seda, Foxy Bouquet, certain Private Label product 3 Ply, were not infringing the Spanish part of the patent 1 081 284.