Published on 23 January 2013
Harlow Group, the electronics and computer industry sheet metal sub-assemblies supplier, has just completed a major manufacturing facilities restructuring programme.
Although this re-structuring has been planned for some time, it has been brought forward following the Group's winning of a multi-million pound contract from the electronic industry. The Group's power-press facilities have now been concentrated at the newly expanded factory of Harlow Pressings, based in Cwmbran, South Wales.
At Harlow, Essex, five setter/operators' skills were no longer required due to the move and it was therefore decided that the preferred option was retraining and turned to TWI for a Product and Process Review and Feasibility Study under the Joining Forces programme. The review consisted of an assessment exercise involving the five employees, measuring their skills against envisaged product welding applications, bearing in mind the company's aim to improve production quantities whilst maintaining quality standards.
A training programme was devised focusing primarily on Metal Active Gas (MAG) Shielded Arc Welding, specially tailored to reflect the differing backgrounds and needs of all the individuals concerned.
The five employees visited TWI for a full week of training, including welder qualification to BS:4872: Parts 1:1982 Standard. Success was so great that the same men returned shortly after for a second phase to develop their Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welding skills, reflecting their increased productivity.
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