Lean MachinePosted on: June 5, 2021
Euramax Solutions are a leading manufacturer of fenestration products for the modular construction sector. Here, Operations Director Andy Boyd discusses how the Barnsley-based company’s highly efficient approach to manufacturing has allowed them to do just that.
Andy, tell us about your background in manufacturing and what you have brought to Euramax Solutions?
I’ve been with Euramax Solutions for five years, but have been in the broader manufacturing sector for over thirty. In that time, I’ve worked for huge multi-national companies such as Nestle and Hallmark, Associated British Foods, as well as a number of smaller organisations.
As one of the world’s biggest manufacturers, Nestle puts a huge emphasis on manufacturing excellence and follows a very strict and rigorous methodology designed to consistently deliver outstanding quality.
In recent years, I’ve sought to implement those same methodologies at Euramax – with the added benefit that I can be much more hands-on in my current role, compared to the huge team I was part of at Nestle, and have input at every stage of the manufacturing process to ensure we’re offering the best products possible.
How is Euramax Solutions different as a manufacturing business?
Like all fenestration businesses, our core processes are simple – we combine a number of components to create a finished window or door.
But it’s the way we approach those processes that makes us different. We’re far more structured and organised, and have a relentless focus on constantly improving how we operate to provide better service to the end user.
We’ve taken a lead from the automotive sector, and invested extensively in lean manufacturing and just-in-time delivery. Clients expect quality every single time, so having an efficient setup that can produce products to a consistently high standard is vital.
This approach, and Euramax Solutions’ historic knowledge of the holiday homes market, is what has helped us move quickly into the modular sector as they use the same principles of construction and delivery.
What are the key changes you have made?
Processing times through the factory have significantly reduced. We’ve managed to cut overall lead times by over 50% in the factory.
By doing things differently, and introducing these highly efficient manufacturing processes, we are delivering better quality products at a faster rate and providing a better overall service to our customers. We are also winning more business as a result.
How do you tailor your manufacturing for each sector you supply to?
The fundamental difference is that, while most fenestration companies set up their equipment to suit one system house, we have invested time and money so we can quickly change over our equipment to do several different system house profiles.
This means for example we can respond quickly and change over our welders, with point to point in under eight minutes for the next cycle of a different profile suite.
How does your delivery method make things easier for clients?
Lots of companies will deliver products in bulk, and it’s a case of ‘there’s a frame, there are all the glass units, sort it out yourself,’ which can provide hold ups that modular companies can’t afford.
We’ve tailored our own lineside delivery solution to get it modular specific, so everything is manufactured the exact same way, and is packaged together, making for an easy install.
We’ve put in a great deal of time and effort to package things reliably and accurately, and to deliver them in a manner that best suits our customer.