PROCESS REENGINEERING AND INNOVATION OF REMAKING SOAPSUDS
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This article uses a business process renovation method to address an environmental protection problem. The presented case, studied in factories which remake crude vegetable oil (soapsuds remake), focuses on reengineering one of the business processes which is classified as an obligatory process. This process has to be performed to comply with the requirements of the existing ecology legislation. Therefore, it is reasonable to take a radical approach - business process reengineering. Soapsuds with oil remnants are a secondary product in the vegetable oil refining process. According to the legislation, secondary products as waste are not acceptable for the environment. Soapsuds remake as it is currently carried out produces technical fatty acids and, as a side product, calcium sulphate. Calcium sulphate is listed as special waste; therefore it must be deposited in a special waste landfill site. In the course of searching for a solution to this ecological problem, a new idea came up, namely that soapsuds are taken to the biogas plant. At the biogas plant, they can be decomposed into biogas, which is then used to generate electric energy, for heating or to supplement municipal gas. Thus, the reengineering of the process is upgraded into process innovation and environmental innovation. Using data obtained from the available literature, the authors managed to prove that process reengineering, which is simultaneously process innovation and ecological innovation, can be applied in practice. Side products resulting from the anaerobic digestion of soapsuds in the biogas plant comply better with the requirements of the Slovenian ecological legislation than those occurring in the process used up to now.
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