Heavy engineering company, Sheffield Forgemasters, has undergone an assessment of its processes to strive for the highest standards of manufacturing excellence.
The Supply Chain for the 21st Century (SC21) assessment, carried out by trained assessors in conjunction with BAE Systems, identifies areas that are key to the successful implementation of Manufacturing Excellence.
The assessment is managed by ADS - the trade organisation for advancing the UK Aerospace, Defence, Security and Space industries – and designed to accelerate the competitiveness of the aerospace and defence industry by raising the performance of its supply chains.
The key areas of assessment include management commitment and involvement, shared vision of manufacturing excellence, education, measures of performance, employee training and development, and floor space utilisation.
In the latest assessment, Forgemasters achieved a score of 370 which is an improvement of 135 on 2009’s assessment score of 235 and is equivalent to an SC21 Bronze Level. The score is above the average Manufacturing Excellence score, as measured against the scores of 88 Aerospace and Defence companies.
Malcolm Collins, group Health and Safety director, said: “Our improved score is a great reflection of the team’s hard work. We have developed a continuous improvement plan to work towards our next SC21 assessment as we are hoping to better that score even further.
“Individual team members are leading specific initiatives across all areas of the company and we have a Development Team which meets monthly to review progress.
“We highlighted some areas of focus including improving our annual staff appraisals to continue to work on employee training and development, utilising customer satisfaction surveys carried out by an independent third party to gauge customer perception, and promoting Lean Manufacturing in all areas of business over the next 12 months.”
The Manufacturing Excellence framework places an importance on lean manufacturing, and its implementation throughout an organisation to reduce wasted goods, effort and time.
Malcolm said: “The Lean Manufacturing is a really important part of the Manufacturing Excellence framework. A group of Forgemasters’ staff have been trained as lean leaders and will introduce lean thinking into their areas of business. Improvements will be monitored and follow-on projects suggested to allow us to make improvements in every area over time by working smarter and cutting out things that don't add anything for the customer.”
The company recently invested half a million pounds in a bid to increase efficiency and space at its Brightside Lane base by transforming an old Fabrication Shop into the new Foundry Pattern Shop, with more space to allow machinery to be positioned in a way that will increase production efficiency and coincide with the company’s lean manufacturing practices.