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Reaping the benefits of continuous improvement

Top Tubes is now seeing the fruits of its Continuous Improvement programme in a multiplicity of ways, resulting in significant increases in production levels.

Here are just a few examples of how the programme is impacting.

  • Our computerised planning and production systems, which we began installing 12 months ago and which cleverly integrate quality functions with planning, inventory and despatch functions are now yielding very positive benefits, not just in terms of quality consistency and the resultant reductions in wastage, but also in terms of manufacturing turnaround and despatch. Factory floor workshops, which ran during February and March, have also made a great contribution, both in team building and encouraging and developing problem finding, problem solving and analysis.
  • Factory floor workshops, which ran during February and March, have also made a great contribution, both in team building and encouraging and developing problem finding, problem solving and analysis.
  • The adoption of Standard Operating Procedures have eliminated divergent working methods, reducing, for instance, changeover periods.The new Zodiac on-site slitting line, as well as shortening the lines of communication, has increased steel strip throughput quite dramatically due to greater efficiency and reduced changeover periods and has enabled Top Tubes to react to customer requirements much faster.
  • The new Zodiac on-site slitting line, as well as shortening the lines of communication, has increased steel strip throughput quite dramatically due to greater efficiency and reduced changeover periods and has enabled Top Tubes to react to customer requirements much faster.

"These improvements and ongoing investments are really driving us forwards", says Operations Manager Simon Moore, proudly displaying a new steel strip decoiler.

With the possibility of some challenging times ahead it will be essential to maintain and improve quality and customer service, according to ERW Sales Manager Craig Gibbs. “To stay ahead of the game”, says Craig, “you can’t afford to stay still on service and quality, continuous improvement is the only way forward”.

Finished tube bundles in the warehouse.
Operations Manager Simon Moore casts a careful eye over the new mill's final stages of installation.
Simon Moore with decoiler.
Operations Manager Simon Moore and new steel strip decoiler.

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