In our eighth month we ‘re looking at our research and development department here at Tridan. This month’s case study was chosen by the public in a recent Twitter poll, so thank you to everyone who got involved and voted.
Our Operations Manager, Michael Newman, introduces this month’s continual improvement by discussing our R&D activity in house and how we engage with our customers on R&D activities.
Everything we do is precision focused so our task was to find those small areas of improvement and showcase how they make an overall big improvement.
Next month we’ll be looking at continual improvement within our production engineering department.
Research & development –
At Tridan one element of our skill set of which are very proud is our research and development activities. A lot of the time we undertake R & D without even knowing it! This comes down to our culture driven by our values.
A good example of how we engage with our customers on R & D activities is a weekly design for manufacture day. This is held at the defence primes facility every Thursday. We send two delegates from Tridan and their role is to interact with the designers on new and existing projects. This enables us to input our technical knowledge into the new designs being proposed at the front end. This engagement ensures firstly that the new part can be manufactured and that it is designed in such a way that benefits the customer regarding cost downs. It also helps us at the NPI stage as we already have an intimate knowledge of the new component.
Tridan also has a unique advantage over its competitors when it comes to R & D having its own range of Yacht Propellers and associated equipment. This is all designed in-house and gives us that edge when assisting customers with its own R & D activity.
We do not only collaborate with our customer base on R & D but with our suppliers. One good example is our two preferred tooling suppliers who both attend our site once a week. They sit and assist our production team on NPI and it also gives the suppliers a good platform to trial new tools not yet released to market.
Most contract manufacturers do not get involved with the design phase, but we welcome and relish the challenge. We have come to understand over time that it is of huge benefit to us, our customers and suppliers to be as involved as possible.
The Variaxis is equipped with Mazak’s latest control, the SmoothX system which is fully touch screen ready. This in conjunction with our suite of off-line programming software sees minimal set up times on even the most complex of parts.
We believe research and development collaboration is the key to success.