New investment sees Operator’s involvement

Stitcher 1 Web

Our latest investment of the Primera MC stitching line sees operators and management working alongside one another to find the best installation solution.

Directly involving the operating teams in decision making was adapted four years ago across the operational areas of the business. Not only does this approach make colleagues feel they are a valued part of the team but it encourages responsible decision making throughout the organisation.

Sean Barratt, Technical Support Operator explains,

“After the purchase was made the operators along with the management team discussed and evaluated the best position for the stitcher and a number of pros and cons were discussed at length. This process took around 4 months to conclude but we were mindful that wherever the machine was situated it needed to be right for the business in terms of work flow. It is important the operators are involved in deciding where the machine should go because at the end of the day it is the operators that run these machines day and night.”

Primera MC Operators Kevin Jeacock and Kim Bird both agreed that by involving everyone in the initial stages of the installation the right solution would be found quicker as everyone’s input would be taken on board.

The stitcher has been up and running for 6 weeks and the business is already seeing the benefits from the additional automation including motion control, faster set up times and higher running speeds.

Stuart Griffiths, Process Engineer, added;

“Capacity modelling clearly demonstrated that the business needed additional stitching capacity and therefore needed to purchase a new machine. It was, however, less clear where the new machine would go as there was not a great deal of space available on site.

To tackle this problem we set up a workshop which included representatives from engineering, stores, health and safety, print and bindery and featured team leaders, managers and operators from multiple shifts.

The cross functional inclusive approach gave the business a much better chance of finding a solution that worked for all stakeholders while also increasing the project buy in required to make it a success. The workshop generated a number of possible solutions and, following further investigation and consultation, a satisfactory solution was agreed and implemented!”

This latest investment is part of a £10 million capital investment project that has taken place over the last 6 years. The commitment to continually investing in print technology and machinery secures our position within the UK market as a future minded company.

Over the next three years we will accelerate our Continual Improvement Program to continually improve efficiencies and modernise our working practices.