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Case Study

EDM Precision Technologies Ltd

EDM Precision Technologies Ltd

MAS helped Northamptonshire company to improve its internal documentation and paperwork flow.
EDM Precision Technologies Ltd

electro-discharge machine

“If you have an idea about something you want to improve in your business; speak to MAS first.”
Paul Waldron, Managing Director, EDM Precision Technologies Ltd

The Manufacturing Challenge

EDM Precision Technologies Ltd are specialists in electro-discharge machining. Established in 1992, EDM grew steadily until 2006 when the business was acquired by its current owner Paul Waldron. Since 2006, the business has undergone some significant improvements, including moving to new larger premises in 2008 and adding new machines in 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2011. In May 2011 the company achieved the EN/AS 9100 quality standard to add to the ISO9001 standard it has held for 13 years.

EDM‟s owner and Managing Director, Paul Waldron, explains why the company needed assistance: “Although the business always had good internal process documentation and paperwork flow, it did not have an integrated system that fully connected quotation, order entry, works orders, purchase orders, certificates of conformity, delivery notes and invoicing. In order to eliminate potential human error, reduce repetition of data entry and produce visually consistent paperwork for our customers and suppliers, an integrated system was required. The costs of even a part customised system was high – and we approached MAS to see if they could help.”

MAS Action

MAS Advisor, Ian Davie, was referred to the company and he realised that looking at their requirements, it was clear that he personally could assist them to improve their internal processes.

Paul Waldron picks up the story: “Ian Davie had expertise in business systems. Ian was able to develop a system for us based on Microsoft Excel that he fully customised to our business. On his first visit he spent time understanding our system and collecting the data he needed and two weeks later he returned with a fully functioning system, and after a couple of “tweaks” which he carried out on the same day, it was up and running.

The Result

“We did not have to buy any software as the system is based on Excel, consequently there were no costs to us. We have been running the system since April 2011 and it is brilliant. We have seen at least 60% reduction in the time required to process the paperwork for an order from start to finish. This has enabled the management to focus their attention on other opportunities and business improvements, including acquiring another new machine in October this year which has helped us with the increased demand we are enjoying. In addition, the quality of the paperwork we provide our customers and suppliers is now of a very high standard and is as least as good as that produced by some very expensive systems. This image‟ improvement has made potential new customers and suppliers take us very seriously.”

Ian has set up several similar systems with other companies, and Paul has recommended MAS and Ian to some of his own customers in the East Midlands. Paul concludes: “I knew that we needed to do something about our system and was very pleasantly surprised how easy it was to deal with MAS. It is my belief that if you have an idea about something you want to improve in your business; speak to MAS first. This business improvement project with MAS has given us real benefit and cost us nothing!”

Case Study

GP Supplies Limited

GP Supplies Limited

London manufacturer embraces Lean model to make a case for growth
GP Supplies Limited

GP Supplies Ltd Store

GP Supplies Ltd provides pharmaceutical equipment to GP surgeries, nursing homes, medical students, specialty clinics and industries. It has been in operation for 12 years and has capitalised on the trend for online ordering, with warehouse space totaling some 8500 sq. ft.
The overall focus for GP Supplies Ltd was to Improve warehouse efficiencies and associated increase in productivity levels.

“We found working with MAS to be very helpful – they gave us practical, effective advice that has enabled us to make significant improvements to our operation.”
Kamal Shah, Managing Director, GP Supplies Ltd

Key Achievements

  • Over £35k cost savings
  • 50% improvement in picking and packing times
  • 30% more space freed in G P Stores
  • 10% more space freed in Myriad and Export Stores
  • Improved stock control
  • Faster stock rotation
  • Improved use of batch codes

 

“It is always our intention to not only be a teacher but also a co-worker, to be ‘hands on’ at the client’s side helping, so that when we leave they have  the knowledge to continue growing their company after we have gone.”
Chris Leonard, Manufacturing Advisor

The manufacturing challenge

The warehouse is split into 3 operations; GP Stores where individual items can be supplied, Myriad for bulk supply and Export for supplies outside the UK. With Export only leaving the company once or twice a week and Myriad mainly supplying creams, hand washes and vitamin tablets, it was the GP Stores area that held the largest volume of varied stock and utilised the most staff, making it the biggest cost centre. GP Supplies Ltd wanted to ensure this high value area was working as cost efficiently as possible.

MAS Action

To enable GP Supplies Ltd to assess the efficiency of the G P Stores warehouse area, Chris Leonard, a Manufacturing Advisor , ran an Introduction to Lean workshop involving the warehouse staff and key personnel from around the company. The workshop looked at the principles of lean manufacturing and an expanded practical section within the warehouse highlighted operating issues and bottlenecks. Although concentrating on the warehouse, by opening the workshop to other key staff it allowed for the spread of “lean” thinking throughout the business.

A state map, illustrating stock holds and patterns, was then produced, showing that while the storage area was well defined, there were a lot of obsolete and slow moving items on the shelves blocking and preventing access to current every-day items. This high traffic area was also located on the mezzanine level, hindering easy and quick access.
A total of 6 storage containers were also being used for overflow storage due to the lack of available space.

It became clear that relocating the G P stores to the ground floor would increase storage space and improve access. Over a period of 2 weeks the store was re-situated on the ground floor and key elements of 5S Principles (Sorting, Setting in Order, Sweeping, Standardising, and Sustaining) to be implemented creating homes for equipment and also a Kanban system, whereby the volume and placement of stock items mirrors the picking and packing process.

These systems freed up additional storage space, reducing the need for overflow storage containers from 6 to 2, with the eventual aim of getting rid of containers altogether.

The Myriad and Export stores also introduced 5S principles freeing more location bins.

Results

As a result of the support provided by MAS and the implementation of a series of new operating procedures to tighten stock control, improve stock rotation and the use of batch codes, GP Supplies Ltd has the ability to increase its stock holding in response to peaks in demand, has speeded up order turnaround and improved cost and staff efficiencies.

GP Supplies Limited
Employees: 12
Sector: Pharmaceuticals and medical supplies
Location: Park Royal, London

Case Study

Collis Engineering Ltd

Collis Engineering Ltd

Derbyshire based railway-signalling mechanical and structural experts, Collis Engineering Ltd, benefitted from ERDF-funded Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) training workshops.
Collis Engineering Ltd

Collis Engineering working on railway lines

 

“We now have a better understanding of the lean philosophy.” David Phoenix, Operations Director, Collis Engineering Ltd

 

The Manufacturing Challenge

 

Collis Engineering Ltd is located in Alfreton and was founded in 1970 as a steel fabricator serving the mining industry. In the early 1970s it diversified into rail, acquiring a railway signal manufacturer in 1989 and has since further diversified by creating a railway civil engineering business. Their staff has vast experience of the railway industry in the UK and their specialist knowledge means that even the most complex of problems can be overcome.

Collis Engineering decided to take advantage of the free training courses offered by MAS to SME manufacturers. Operations Director, David Phoenix, who led the involvement of the company, explains: “Our motivation for sending employees on the training courses was to attempt to bring industry best practice as taught by industry experts into our SME.”

 MAS Action

MAS Training Practitioner, Keith Burton, explains the range of courses on offer to Collis Engineering: “MAS has offered eligible manufacturers the opportunity to send employees on training courses based around Lean principles. MAS runs workshops in Workplace Organisation, QCD, Lean Awareness, Process Mapping, Sales and Vision & Strategy. All of the courses are designed to give real benefit to the company and there is no limit to the amount of employees that can attend.”

The decision was made by David and the team at Collis Engineering to send 30 personnel on a variety of the available workshops. These training events were held locally and in-house.

 

Result 

David highlights the benefits of the funded workshops: “We now have a better understanding of the lean philosophy which we have been able to incorporate into our business. As an SME with limited resources we found the MAS workshops to be a highly effective way to enable us to learn and subsequently implement industry best practice. As the workshops were all free to attend the only real cost to the business was the time of the people involved. The small cost incurred attending the workshops was quickly repaid in terms of significant benefit to our business.”

Case Study

AR18

AR18

London manufacturer embraces Lean model to make a case for growth

AR18 is a small company that produces a wide range of bespoke display and retail units.  Its units have been installed in airports all over the world for a wide range of blue chip clients.  Using large bed cnc cutters and a laser cutter, they can cut a range of materials to specific customer requirements.

Current state to future state mapping workshops were held with the team resulting in the creation of a future state process.  A visual tracking board for orders and quotes was created so staff could see progress of orders.  Key individuals were heavily linked to core quote and ordering tasks so by establishing Standard Operating Procedures, these key individuals were allowed free capacity to develop business development opportunities.  A simplified system of operation to support current computer systems was implemented which allowed for tracking of quotes, quote hit ratio and easy identification of outstanding quote values.

Key Achievements

  • Potential £40k increase in turnover
  • Over £13k cost savings achieved
  • 80% improvement in equipment productivity
  • 20% improvement in people productivity
  • 15% increase in space utilisation
  • 20% reduction in scrap
  • Significant increase in employee satisfaction
  • Knowledge transfer of lean principles and techniques allowing continuous improvement

 

The manufacturing challenge

To enable future growth through standardising processes and improving efficiencies

MAS Action

The company approached MAS as it has grown steadily over the past 7 years but was now at a point that it needed to standardise its processes and create capacity to allow further expansion.  Through the initial diagnostic, the office process was identified as a starting point for Lean implementation.

Results

The MAS intervention created a strong foundation for future business expansion and enabled key individuals within the business to concentrate on business development while allowing others to carry out a fuller and more engaged role.  Staff were engaged throughout the intervention to ensure a good understanding of the process and what was trying to be achieved.  The knowledge transfer of lean principles and techniques will allow the business to continuously improve and implement best practice manufacturing processes.

AR18
Turnover: £800k
Sector: Manufacturing
Location: Uxbridge, Middlesex

Case Study

Protechnic

Protechnic

Bristol manufacturer embraces innovation to make a case for growth
Protechnic

Protechnic

Established in Bristol in 1987, Protechnic is one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of bespoke transit cases. Keen to develop a new type of case to expand into new sectors and markets, the company approached the Manufacturing  Advisory Service (MAS) for advice and support.

“MAS has made a real impact here at Protechnic. Working closely with our team, MAS assisted in the design and product development  of our Exocase model, helping us to create something genuinely innovative. The advisor was both knowledgeable and enthusiastic;  having a trusted third party ratify our proposals was invaluable.”
Keith Judson,
Managing Director, Protechnic

Key Achievements

  • On track to increase turnover from £2million to £5million over five years
  • Developed the Exocase, an innovative product that can be built to exact specifications
  • Branched into new sectors including motorsport, defence, aerospace and medical
  • Competitors expressing interest in dealership opportunities

“Innovation is alive and well in the South West – Keith and the team at Protechnic are a prime example of this. Protechnic actively sought opportunities to innovate and expand their offering, moving into new sectors and markets. They came to MAS with a strong idea and we helped guide it through the development process to completion.”John Phillipart, Manufacturing Advisor, MAS

The manufacturing challenge

Although Protechnic is already the UK’s market leader, the company recognised it could not afford to sit still. Protechnic
is determined to keep developing its offering to ensure it continues to add value for its customers.

“We were keen to create something unique, something genuinely innovative and more than just a ‘me too’ product. Dozens of companies make flight cases and, while we’ve worked hard to become the market leader in the UK, often the only real bargaining chip is price. We wanted to create a case that was incredibly durable, easily repaired and could be manufactured to exact specifications,”  said Keith Judson, Managing Director, Protechnic.

MAS Action

“MAS helped us establish the crux of the idea, affirming what we wanted  to achieve and the niche we were trying to fill. The advisor acted as a sounding board and brought knowledge of different industries and sectors to the table. MAS helped us to access an external design specialist, whose support was instrumental in the product development. The idea for the Exocase has been around for four years, it was only with the support of MAS and the design specialist that we had the continued impetus and resources to explore the idea fully,” said Keith.

Results

“Within two months of the Exocase being launched, we anticipate a significant positive impact on the company. Protechnic now has the potential to double in size over the next five years, growing to a predicted 60 employees and a turnover of £5million. We have successfully targeted new markets, both international and here in the South West. This product has opened up a dialogue with major regional players including the MOD, Rolls Royce and Airbus. Developing the Exocase has had a significant impact on our design and manufacturing processes, and we now have an effective new product development template in place going forward.”

funded by European Regional Development Fund

Protechnic

Employees: 30
Turnover: £2m
Sector: International Logistics
Location: Nailsea, Bristol

Uncategorized

Arc Energy Resources Ltd

Arc Energy Resources Ltd

Welding Engineering Specialists energise themselves for future growth
Arc Energy Resources Ltd

Arc Energy Resources Ltd

Arc Energy Resources Ltd is an engineering company specialising in supplying weld overlay clad products and fabrications to the oil and gas, water and defence industries. Global economic uncertainties prompted the company to approach the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) for help to become more efficient and expand its operations by diversifying into new markets.

Events

MACH 2012

MACH 2012

MACH is the established UK showcase of the latest in manufacturing technologies.
When Apr 16, 2012 09:00 AM to
Apr 20, 2012 05:00 PM
Where NEC, Birmingham
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The show is brought to you by the Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA), a UK based trade association dealing specifically with engineering based manufacturing.

  • MACH is an exhibition organised for the industry by the industry
  • MACH 2012 will feature relevant exhibitors and some of the best innovations and latest developments to come from the manufacturing technologies sector.
  • MACH 2010 attracted almost 450 exhibitors and over 20,000 visitors.
Events

Regional Innovation Workshop (Exeter)

Regional Innovation Workshop (Exeter)

The TSB, the Biosciences KTN and DEFRA are running a workshop in Exeter on the 3rd April to promote two UK funding calls for companies in the Food & Drink sector.
When Apr 03, 2012
from 09:30 AM to 03:30 PM
Where Exeter,EX2 7NN
Contact Name Kenny Legg
Contact Phone Kenny.Legg@enterpriseeuropesw.org.uk
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FOOD PROCESSING AND MANUFACTURING EFFICIENCY • More efficient food processing and manufacturing technologies • Improved Resource efficiency within the whole manufacturing value chain (raw materials, energy, water and labour etc) • Improved storage, handling, packaging and distribution systems across the supply chain, including the retail and food service sectors • Decision support tools including stock management and labelling systems • Some aspects of primary production that clearly impact on processing and manufacturing efficiency • Efficient recycling of manufacturing by-products and waste streams. INNOVATE FOR GROWTH: This funding will support the rapid development of an innovative idea and demonstrate its practical feasibility for innovative SMEs across the farming, food and drink industries. FOR MORE INFORMATION FOLLOW THE LINK BELOW
Events

Introduction to Composite Materials

Introduction to Composite Materials

Tuesday and Wednesday a two day composite workshop. South Bristol Skills Academy, City of Bristol College, Hengrove. An introductory workshop designed for engineering businesses who are interested in moving into the field of composite materials. Free to SME’s. Run by the South West Composite Fields Gateway. FUTURE DATES TO BE CONFIRMED – SEE WEBSITE
When Apr 03, 2012 09:00 AM to
Apr 04, 2012 05:00 PM
Where South Bristol Skills Academy, City of Bristol College, Hengrove.
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Events

Granted Consultancy with City of Bristol College

Granted Consultancy with City of Bristol College

THE RENEWALBLE HEAT INCENTIVE INFORMATION SESSIONS – This event is aimed at forward thinking organisations who want to take advantage of their heating needs and turn it into an asset. It is also directed at installers and members of the Green Sector who wish to help clients realise their renewable heating requirements and in turn their own installation potential. FOR COST AND MORE INFORMATION CONTACT CITY OF BRISTOL COLLEGE
When Mar 30, 2012
from 12:00 AM to 12:00 AM
Where South Bristol Skills Academy, Bristol
Contact Name
Contact Phone 0117 312 5020
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