The group received a warm welcome this morning at the Sinarmas palm oil processing facility. We were hosted by Dr Paul Wassell (R&D Division Head), who explained the role of research and development in designing cost engineered products for their business. We learned about the chemistry and processes of manufacturing palm oil base products; such as margarine, shortening, cooking oil, frying fats, bio diesel etc. Like many manufacturing organisations they are focused on SKU rationalisation and integrating of processes. Their world class on-site testing facilities manned by qualified chefs allow them to fully test a wide range of products including baking cakes, bread, chocolate and ice cream. An interesting observation was that despite using sophisticated testing methods for their products, they still use people to test for taste, smell and texture.

We also enjoyed a tour of the 20-hectare facility where we saw first-hand of the processes they deploy such as filtration and fractionating. It was impressive to see RFID in their automated high bay warehouse. The warehouse has got a capacity of 50,000 pallets covering 200 SKUs with a throughput of between 500 – 600 pallets an hour. This makes it the biggest automated warehouse in Indonesia. Their focus on health and safety has resulted in an impressive record of more than 460 days since their last lost time injury.

Sirnamas owns a large amount of the supply chain; including palm plantations and six factory locations in Indonesia. Some of their customers are McDonalds, Burger King, Dunkin Donuts, Nestle, Unilever, amongst others. They supply 200MT of shortening to McDonald’s every month.

After the factory tour, we sampled some of their Danish pastries, rolls and short biscuits coming straight from the test kitchen. Both the taste and quality was superb; it was unfortunate that we couldn’t continue feasting on the delicious pastries as we had to rush out for our next visit – to McDonald’s!

We would like to thank Eva, Yoshua, Paul, Betty, Agus, Dilip, Friska, and all of the colleagues at Sinarmas for their taking their time to show us their business, offering their kind hospitality and answering all of our questions

 

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