Technical insulation manufacturer Armacell UK Ltd, located on Mars Street in Chadderton, has received a total quality management award. The Oldham site which covers 35,000 square metres, is the first of Armacell’s 5 European manufacturing plants to receive the award, representing a major landmark for the business on their journey towards becoming a World Class Manufacturing location.
The Armacell World Class manufacturing program, or WAM for short, was launched back in 2013 and the firm has been working towards the first bronze level accreditation ever since. Annual audits are held at each of Armacell’s 25 production plants Worldwide and are assessed by the firm’s Senior Management team as well as external manufacturing consultants. The production team are marked on seven different technical pillars with the first pillar and main priority being safety management. A major contributing factor towards Armacell UK receiving the bronze award is the Oldham plant having gone 1,589 days without a lost time accident (LTA) – going back to July 2013 when the WAM program first began.
The other technical pillars include a series of quality management tools and methodologies to reduce production defects and workplace organisation assessments and tasks to design processes so they are ergonomic and safer for the production team to carry out.
Equipment maintenance and cleaning regimes 5S (sort, set in order, shine, standardise, sustain) have also been greatly improved, with the machinery and overall plant layout now much more efficient and better organised. LED lighting and a recycling management system have been introduced throughout the plant to minimise the environmental impact of operations and all production scrap is recycled into new product.
Two overarching pillars of focussed improvement and people development support the continuous improvement in all areas of operations, including product development and logistics and customer services activities.
Plant Manager Tom McCreight, who has worked at the factory for 30 years, commented ‘The World Class Manufacturing program has been completely transformative for our Oldham site and our employees. The shopfloor in particular is now a far safer and more pleasant working environment, barely recognisable from 5 years ago. Reaching the bronze manufacturing award has been extremely challenging and it is a huge achievement and a credit to the dedication and hard work of all the Oldham team to reach this landmark.’
A large new loading bay and logistics warehouse are currently in development as part of the continuous site improvement plans and the access and frontage of the building was updated earlier this year, including new energy efficient windows, pedestrian walkways and signage.
As the inventors of flexible foam for equipment insulation and a leading provider of engineered foams, Armacell develops innovative and safe thermal, acoustic and mechanical solutions that create sustainable value for its customers. Armacell´s products significantly contribute to global energy efficiency making a difference around the world every day. With 3,000 employees and 25 production plants in 16 countries, the company operates two main businesses and generated net sales of approx. EUR 560 million and adjusted EBITDA of approx. EUR 100 million in 2016. The Advanced Insulation business focuses on insulation materials for technical equipment. The Engineered Foams business develops high-performance foams that are used in high-tech and lightweight applications. For more information, please visit: http://corporate.armacell.com/.