In our Eleventh month we are looking at our tooling partnerships and Tridan in the community.
Taking the lead on our first continual improvement case study in March is Peter Townsend , our Senior Production Engineer, with one of our tooling partnerships from ITC.
Our next March case study will be led by Paul Hawkins, Managing Director, discussing our involvement in the community.
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.
CASE STUDY 1 – TOOLING PARTNERSHIPS
We made a strategic decision a few years ago to streamline our cutting tool inventory by reducing the amount of tooling suppliers we dealt with.
After a 2-year programme of testing a range of cutting tool suppliers products we chose Iscar and ITC to join us in a cutting tool technology partnership.
Together we are all constantly striving to help our manufacturing improve the machining process by looking for cutting tools and innovative application methods that enhance the cutting process. The partnership enables us to benefit from improved efficiency which in turn reduces cycle times, this is partly achieved as technical representative from our partners spend 1 day a week each on site to advise and innovate on our processes.
We have seen improvements in cutting tool life with the ability to produce components better and faster than previously, cutting tool inventory has reduced and is managed by vending technology.
Ultimately this partnership has strengthened the bottom line with cost reductions and improved profitability, machine tool utilisation has also improved as parts are now manufactured quicker.
New processes introduced using our Edgecam programming system are then matched with cutting tools and the latest 5 axis machine tool technology to reduce cycle times, the use of Edgecam’s ‘Waveform Roughing cycle’ with trochoidal milling cutters have reduced cycle times by as much as 50%.
CASE STUDY 2 – Tridan in the community
As one of the larger employers in the local area we felt that as a company we needed to do more to be a part of our community and give something back.
One of the first areas was to try and raise money for local charities. We have dress down Friday, where we all pay £1; we have cake sales, book club etc. In the last two years we have supported a local girl named Alexia, raising money for her operation in America. The local youth enquiry service Y.E.S. helping troubled young people in their lives. We have also recently donated to the local St Helena Hospice as one of our colleagues sadly lost his partner. Our next charity is for the “Clacton Queen”, a large steam roller that has been in Clacton for decades that now requires money to keep it running or this beautiful piece of engineering will be stored away.
Another area we are working on is with a local school, Clacton County High School. We have open days for new students interested in engineering. Helping at Parents/Open house evening to let young people know that a company not too far away works on high precision components for many different sectors, so there is a career path, and there is a very good apprenticeship scheme they can aim for with us.
We have also manufactured components FOC for their electrical car that they race nationally and are doing well in their championship.
We have also committed to helping the students with “mock” interviews, just to give them all the best start in their first interview in whichever career they decide to take.
We are very proud of our apprenticeship scheme at Tridan, and with CCHS we have decided to take that one step further this year. We are in our 50th year in 2018, so we are having a party to celebrate, part of those celebrations will be in conjunction with CCHS.
At time of writing the school have built into their syllabus “a vehicle of the future”, this is where students have free scope to design their vehicle, using drawings, models, etc. The winners from each year group will be judged on the day and prizes awarded, with the winners of the oldest age group winning apprenticeships with Tridan.