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IMS Treffen IWith the second cross-plant IMS meeting, the Emsland Group once again highlighted the necessity of a group-wide integrated management system (IMS). The approximately 30 participants from all of the Group’s plants met in Hagenow for the two-day workshop which went from May 21-23, 2019. It was a reunion of responsible figures from the quality, environment, energy, and occupational safety divisions who had already completed a successful workshop in Cloppenburg last year.


The night before the workshop began, nearly all of the participants came together in the beautiful city of Ludwigslust. A spontaneous meal was organized, thus allowing everyone a chance to get dialed in as a team for the coming two days. Common themes that really stood out over the course of the workshop were solidarity, hospitality, teamwork, and an outstanding level of organization.


At the Hagenow plant, the participants were received by Edmund Eilers, Head of the IMS Division, and Hagenow Plant Manager Christian Heinrich. Mr. Eilers once again emphasized the importance of and reasons for the IMS before passing on a few greetings from management. In his opening speech, Mr. Heinrich referred to the many construction activities at the Hagenow plant. Four more ultra-modern roller dryers are currently being installed at the site in a specially constructed hall. In addition, six new silos, four dryers, a new peeling line, and a central potato intake will be built. Simply put, the location is undergoing radical change and will reposition itself for the future.


The main focus of this year’s IMS workshop was on internal integrated audits. In overseeing this task, Nadine Bredehorn explained the instructions for creating internal audits in ConSense as well as audit preparation, which was to be worked on in groups.


IMS Treffen III    IMS Treffen II


Divided into four groups, the participants took a step-by-step approach to learning how the audits in the audit module are to be laid out and created. After the audit was prepared using the plant-specific software (which also includes a corresponding notification), the audit was carried out. An important part of the auditing process is asking questions. Audit questions should be unambiguous and clear. Grouped according to the Starch Production, Food Production, Packing/Filling, and Warehousing and Logistics divisions, the participants gained an interesting insight from the perspective of those being audited as well as the auditors themselves. All of the audits were prepared together, and comprehensive questions concerning quality, occupational safety, energy, and the environment were formulated. In some cases, potential answers were already worked out. The central representatives of the respective divisions took turns offering “on-the-fly” support: Frauke Berling (Environment), Rainer Knoop (Energy), Heinrich Reinink / Nadine Bredehorn (Quality Management), and Katrin Neumann (Occupational Safety). They provided valuable tips and were available to answer any questions.


IMS Treffen V    IMS Treffen IV


Then came the audit results. There were three categories in which the respective evaluation could fall:

Deviation: Non-compliance with specified requirements and procedures or legal provisions.

Flaw: Partial fulfillment of specified requirements and procedures, obvious defects with risks without specified regulation.

Improvement potential: Identifiable potential for continued improvement in terms of the environment, quality, energy, and work health and safety.


The afternoon began with recording the audit report in ConSense. The audit results (which were designated as a “sample” or “test”) were released together in the groups, and an improvement potential, a flaw, and a deviation was specified for each group. For the implementation process, the following sequence had to be observed:

- Cause analysis

- Implementation of measures

- Inspection (if necessary)

- Performance test (if necessary)

- Finalizing the deviation, flaw or improvement potential (only when the measure is 100% complete)

- Audit completion


In addition, a detailed description is required for the cause analysis and the measures’ implementation. As the last page in the audit protocol, a concluding assessment finalized the audit results and served as the end to the day’s project.


After a short summary of the first day, the participants were invited to a cultural evening event which was perfectly arranged by Jürgen Weidhaas and Lukas Rosenzweig. “Friedrich der Fromme” (the alias of Dr. Gernot Hempelmann) welcomed the guests and took them on a journey back in time to the 18th century - a time when Ludwigslust had many interesting stories to tell about the city’s origins and development. Among other things, the guided tour went through the Palace Park in Ludwigslust, and plenty of interesting facts about the baroque city were shared along the way. Afterwards, the participants were given a guided tour of the Ludwigslust brewery and learned about how the various types of beer are produced. The guests then enjoyed a pleasant evening over good food and some local beers.


IMS Treffen VI    IMS Treffen VII


On the second day of the workshop, the groups were mixed again and the previous day’s results compared. Afterwards, all of the participants reconvened and summarized the second cross-plant IMS workshop. Overall, the knowledge-sharing aspect turned out to be a real highlight, as was the event’s informative content. The exercises were considered to be very helpful, and it was agreed that the workshop should definitely continue. In this respect, there have already been suggestions as to which topics could be dealt with. For example, the idea of carrying out an audit under real conditions was proposed with the idea being that it would broaden what had already been learned. Delving into management reviews is also conceivable: all topics would be “placed on top of each other” and the individual plants considered as a whole. The examination of key figures was also brought up.


After the final gathering, the participants were divided into two groups and invited to visit the plant. This included a guided tour of the many new features that are shaping the location. The four new roller dryers (and accompanying hall) which are currently being assembled were undoubtedly highlighted. With their even larger diameter, they are the newest and best option on the market today.


With some closing words from Mr. Heinrich and Mr. Eilers, the IMS workshop ended and the very successful and informative two-day event drew to a close. The participants not only broadened their IMS knowledge, but also learned a lot about the historical area and built up a good cross-plant team structure.


We would like to thank our hosts from Hagenow, colleagues Christan Heinrich, Ivon Reiher, Heike Werner, Jürgen Weidhaas and Lukas Rosenzweig in particular, as well as the entire IMS team. See you next year.