Long-established mechanical and hydraulic power-press manufacturer Joseph Rhodes Ltd is one of Europe's leading manufacturers of computer numerically controlled metal-forming machinery.
The company supplies a range of large-scale fabrications of high quality; they also provide specialised equipment designed to the specifications of their customers, which include the Royal Mint. Design work is carried out in-house using CAD facilities.
With an increasing need to maintain competitiveness in the standard-unit press market, the Wakefield-based company asked TWI to carry out a Product and Process Review (PPR). This was followed by a Feasibility Study to guide improvements in manufacturing practices.
The Study specifically looked at:
- improving efficiency in the manufacture of welded structures
- fabrication shop layout, operation and facilities
The Review revealed a number of alternative and complementary routes the company could take to reach its business objectives.
In the search for more innovative designs needed to ensure competitiveness of its standard-unit presses, Joseph Rhodes needed to introduce and adopt the concept of 'design-for-manufacture'.
The company followed suggestions arising from the Study and made customer needs the key drive for the manufacturing change. Issues addressed included design for manufacture, part-count reduction and improvements of factory layout.
This work was carried out as part of a government-supported Joining Forces programme.
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