Managing the Move – Introducing the UK’s Operation Project Manager

Please can you introduce yourself and give a brief explanation of your role:

I’m Bill Horne, Operations Project Manager at Habasit (UK). My role is to implement lean manufacturing at our current facility and to project manage the relocation to our new Elland hub.

When did you join Habasit and what was your career path previously?

I joined Habasit on June 29, 2015. Previously I was Head of Manufacturing Engineering with Surgical Innovations, who specialised in the design and manufacture of laparoscopic surgical devices.

However, most of my career to date was spent at David Brown Gear Systems based in Huddersfield, who I served for 22 years. They manufacture gears and gearboxes for every conceivable application, ranging from F1 cars to Astute class nuclear submarines!

What are your main duties at Habasit?

At the moment it is the Relocate Elland project. We have appointed the building contractor and ground work commenced on September 21. A key success factor for any project is an effective communication system therefore I have created a project communication board to share updates, drawings and timelines with the Habasit team, suppliers and customers alike.

Can you explain the challenges Habasit face in the move to Elland?

One of the primary challenges we face is preventing disruption to production to ensure we continue to meet customer demands during the transition phase from our present Silsden base to the new purpose-built facility in Elland. Another is maintaining and developing our core skill base as we continually seek to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of our resources and capabilities in the field of fabrication and site services. The relocation to the new Elland centralised fabrication hub is a key milestone in the implementation of the company’s new Roadmap 2020 and we will extend every effort to ensure that we maximise the benefits created by this significant investment in our business.

You mentioned you were imple-menting lean manufacturing at the Silsden facility. Can you give a brief explanation on what this involves?

It’s a systematic approach which originated from the Toyota Production System. The essential focus is based upon a number of key business drivers, including a highly engaged workforce, value stream mapping, cost reduction via the elimination of waste, highly effective quality systems, process flow, just in time manufacturing (J.I.T.), continuous improvement culture and visual management systems/tools.

Can you explain how the lean manufacturing principles will be implemented at the new facility?

Because process flow and elimination of waste are the key drivers in designing our new layout, we effectively have a blank canvas to design a world class fabrication system. We can improve our H&S considerations in relation to manual handling and reduce the interaction of man and machine in terms of forklift trucks. We are therefore investigating options utilizing isolated areas with new cantilever racking solutions and the use of side loading fork trucks using pre-programmed height parameters which will eliminate human traffic in that area. This coupled with other innovative coil handling solutions should create a more efficient work-flow in the fabrication department.

And finally which three words describe you best?

Coach, motivator and instigator.

Thank you very much for the interview.

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