H.J. Enthoven & Sons is the largest single site producer of recycled lead in Europe and part of the world’s largest lead group, Quexco Inc, with operations in 7 countries. At the site in Matlock, Derbyshire, lead from vehicle batteries is recycled into ingots.

H.J. Enthoven & Sons undertook a Knowledge Mapping project, supported by the Non-Ferrous Alliance. They wanted to use Innoval’s K-Map process to define a set of accurate standard operating procedures for the refinery process and to transfer valuable tacit knowledge from their experienced Team Leaders to refinery operators.

How we were involved

Helen Forrest and Gary Mahon spent five days working with the Shift Coordinators, Team Leaders, and Operators from all shifts in several workshop sessions. Each group described their current operating practices, and discussed the effect their process had on each product attribute.

Knowledge mapping at HJE
A K-Map Session at H.J. Enthoven & Sons

The K-Map process gave H.J. Enthoven & Sons a rigorous way of examining their process, and enabled the team to uncover new ways to improve it.

In three subsequent follow-up visits, Helen and Gary helped the team use their K-Map to design improvement trails, and to appreciate how any changes to the process could affect the final product.


The improvements generated by the K-Map activity are expected to result in substantial direct savings annually, as well as giving a 14% increase in output and a 3% reduction in fuel usage. In addition to this, the company has observed more open communication between their Site Coordinators, Team Leaders and Operators, together with enhanced team working across shifts.

Services Involved

  • K-Maps
  • P-Maps

This case study appears as an article in the 2006 edition of ‘innform’; the newsletter of Innoval Technology.

The K-Mapping process has been well received by both management and operators, leading to measurable benefits in the refinery. We think Innoval’s K-Maps are excellent tools in the drive for continuous improvement, and we will now use them to focus in more depth on the smelting process in order to improve the efficiency of the furnaces.

David Wheeler, Operations Director at H.J. Enthoven & Sons