Frontline MVP Spotlight Series: “Redzone Roy” Barron

Dedicated Frontline Troubleshooter and Mentor

Roy Barron is an automated machine mechanic at American Sugar Refining (ASR), a specialty sweetener manufacturer headquartered in West Palm Beach, Florida. Roy is our featured Frontline Worker MVP for April … recognized for his leadership, work ethic, and commitment to excellence at the Chalmette sugar refinery plant in New Orleans, Louisiana.

He’s one of our best employees. When we have a fire. We call Roy.

Lorenzo Jackson | Packaging Department Manager, American Sugar Refining

What Makes Roy a Redzone Frontline MVP

Roy Barron — or “Redzone Roy,” as his colleagues refer to him — is a bit of a legend at American Sugar Refining. A long-time employee of 18 years, Roy is described by others as a “master mechanic” and acts as a mentor to junior mechanics.

His truest core value is excellence. His attitude, his behavior is contagious, and everybody around him — hourly and salary — benefit from it.
Jess Landry Operations Trainer, American Sugar Refining

Redzone Roy’s fellow employees and leaders recognized his character and values and nominated him for the 2022 Redzone Frontline MVP of the Year award, which he ended up winning. Hear from Roy on what it means to be named a Redzone Frontline MVP of the Year.

Here are some of his key traits that have helped make him successful at ASR.

  • Perseverance: Even after almost two decades at ASR, Roy never becomes complacent. He searches for opportunities to improve and grow on a day-to-day basis.
  • Assertiveness: When plant leaders need Roy to make tough decisions, he isn’t afraid to push back. He wants to make sure the team implements the right solution.
  • Curiosity: Roy dove right into the QAD Redzone platform, eager to learn as much as possible. He read up on the software, added comments, uploaded pictures, high-fived his team, and encouraged everyone to use it. “I like learning new things; gives me more ammunition for life,” said Roy.
  • Leadership: Junior mechanics and new employees are often placed in Roy’s sector. They see that Roy is engaged in his work and are inspired to step up their game.
  • Grit: Roy sees every project through to the end. If he fails to fix a problem on the first try, he takes it as a challenge. It gives him a reason to try something new and push himself until he finds a solution and accomplishes his objective. “He won’t give up without fixing the problem. He wants to prove he can do it,” said Bobby Gibbs, Supervisor, American Sugar Refining.
  • Collaboration: With QAD Redzone, Roy receives real-time feedback about what’s happening in the plant. He uses it to offer help and support when his mechanics need it and to mentor them through their careers.

Solving Problems for American Sugar Refining

If Roy is anything, he is a problem solver. He proved this by leading the management and maintenance of one of ASR’s most profitable machines: the Thiele bagger.

Roy was responsible for the Chalmette plant’s three Thiele baggers, each with two assembly lines. These baggers filled 25-50 pound bags of sugar and were the most profitable machines in the plant. But they were also causing problems. For years, the mechanics had been cleaning, rebuilding, and even replacing the dribble gates of these machines because they would malfunction from sugar build-up. The cost of these efforts was substantial.

Roy had an idea that might solve the sugar build-up problem with a simple modification but had no method to log, discuss, or gain approval.

Then Redzone was introduced. Roy was a champion of QAD Redzone from day one when he heard about it in a safety meeting.

The communications abilities [of QAD Redzone] are phenomenal. Everybody signs into their tablet. I can pick mine up and find out who’s doing quality checks. I can find out if somebody’s about to run out of something. I can go over there and help them get it done.

Roy Barron | Automated Machine Mechanic, American Sugar Refining

Within QAD Redzone, workers can submit ideas and suggestions for improvement. Roy added his idea to QAD Redzone, which was recognized and supported by the Vice President of Maintenance before the day was out.

After gaining approval for his approach, he pulled one of the machines apart and constructed a workaround that would apply positive air pressure to the dribble gates to reduce the sugar build-up and extend the life of the Thiele baggers.

Two months later, he pulled out his modified machine and a standard, unmodified machine and compared the sugar build-up. The standard machine was full of sugar, as usual.

His modified machine had no sugar. “I was super stoked,” said Roy.

Using QAD Redzone, he standardized the modification, which has now been installed on all three Thiele baggers. Roy plans to inspect them again in six months, with hopes that they will last a full year before they need to be replaced.

The lifecycle of the dribble gates has now improved by 300% and the company saves $67,000 a year with Roy’s solution. Now, the Thiele area has the highest QAD Redzone usage in the plant.

[Roy] has motivated the mechanics to use QAD Redzone the way it’s supposed to be used. And also to fix the machines the way they’re supposed to. He’s very motivating for everyone involved, even those at the top of the company.
Lorenzo Jackson Packaging Department Manager, American Sugar Refining

Accomplishments and Certifications

Roy’s hard work using and championing QAD Redzone earned him a Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt certification — a recognition that previously had never been earned by an hourly employee at ASR. Working towards his yellow belt helped him learn how to use QAD Redzone to analyze data, calculate savings, and test options so he could convince leadership to adopt his ideas.

Roy is a master mechanic who uses QAD Redzone as a tool to get things done.

Lorenzo Jackson | Packaging Department Manager, American Sugar Refining

He also finished his yellow belt faster than most employees: in eight weeks rather than several months.

Goals and Ambitions

As expected, Roy is already planning his accomplishments beyond the yellow belt: a green belt project. He plans to stay at ASR as a mechanic until retirement. In the meantime, he has hard-earned advice for others managing and mentoring manufacturing teams:

“You get back what you give. If I give my all, usually I get their all.

Huge congratulations to Roy for his well-deserved 2022 Redzone Frontline MVP of the Year award.

Redzone Frontline MVP: Roy Barron, American Sugar Refining

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