Olivier Douxchamps - Plant Manager Visé, Belgium

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Olivier Douxchamps

Olivier has been the plant manager of our Visé Glass Mineral Wool site since 2013. The plant operates four lines and is situated next to our Central Headquarters.


I’m really proud to have a strong team in Visé, with a high level of competence and strong partnerships — especially with the unions. We are successfully solving challenges — together.
Olivier Douxchamps, Plant Manager Visé, Belgium

What were you doing before working for Knauf Insulation?

I was a production manager for AGC Glass in France.

What have been the greatest challenges of 2020?

Of course, the greatest challenge was COVID-19 and to ensure the health of everyone at the plant. We succeeded because our Visé team is built on strong partnerships, particularly with the unions. Another challenge was safety. We aim to achieve a Total Recordable Incident Rate of less than five. Already by mid-August we were proud to announce that we had achieved 600 days without a Lost Time Accident (LTA). In July we successfully started up the operation of two baggers on VB4 line with significant quality improvements.

How did your plant overcome the challenges of 2020?

I’m really proud to have a strong team in Visé, with a high level of competence. As mentioned, we also have strong partnerships, especially with the unions, and we are successfully solving every challenge — together.

What important learnings would you like to share?

The key to managing a plant like Visé — with a high level of complexity — is to be agile but to have high team cohesion. This is really the key: maintaining strong partnerships.

How has your plant environment changed as a result of COVID safety requirements?

Since March 1, we have put in place a daily COVID-19 committee meeting with representatives of the Visé plant board, HSE and the unions, and we have managed the crisis together. Step by step all As Safe As Home safety measures were put in place and we are proud there have been no cases of COVID transmission on our site.

What is your ambition for the plant?

In the past six years we have decreased the number of LTAs by 10 even as we increased production by nearly 100%. I want to continue to develop Visé as a site with the highest possible safety standards — driven by Continuous Improvement (CI) — and reduce our environmental impact through, for example, energy recuperation on VB1 line, photovoltaic panels, wind turbine power and LEDs everywhere.

What have been your proudest career achievements?

To have succeeded in changing the culture in Visé plant. There is real partnership within the Visé team with a real focus on safety and a culture of CI.

How has CI transformed your plant?

At Visé CI informs everything. 5S standards are deployed everywhere, there is a CI room and our bonus scheme and CI training with ‘stars’ allows everyone to maximise their CI potential. As a result, we have produced outstanding results in terms of safety, quality and efficiencies.

What examples showcase teamwork at your plant?

Achieving our first year without an LTA and our celebration of Continuous Improvement Day — both in 2019.

What safety successes would you like to highlight?

Obviously 600 days without LTA which we celebrated in August this year, but more importantly the actions that have informed our safety culture change. For example, last year, we achieved 660 safety discussions (known as OPACOE) and by August we had carried our 820. By the end of 2020 we want to achieve 1,200. These discussions help change culture by enabling colleagues to focus on their individual safety and the safety of their co-workers.

How does your plant contribute to the local community?

We sponsor sports teams such as the Visé City handball team and we sponsor the Visé Marathon — a number of Knauf Insulation employees take part in this event — and we contribute to cancer charities.

What sustainability successes have been important to the plant?

Over the past two years we have switched all our lighting to LEDs which marked an electricity gain of 3.5%. We installed 6,000 photovoltaic panels that now contribute 2% of the plant’s energy and we now plan to increase the number of panels by 5,000. We have also reduced our landfill waste by 80% in the past six years.

What future sustainability projects are planned?

This year we are working on an initiative to stop wet wool being sent to landfill. We will launch a project to install a wind turbine at Visé and we will install an exchanger on VB1 line to recuperate fume energy to heat our cullet.

What messages do you have for neighbours concerned about the environmental impact of your plant?

We are producing insulation and each day we are working to find ways to reduce our environmental impact. Being environmentally responsible is our first priority. Our neighbours can be proud to have us as part of their community.



Plant Managers Knauf Insulation
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