Structured manufacturing

Established in 1987 and co-founded by Richard Scott, Kelvin Stone, and Peter Hellyer, Kristek Precision, based in Melksham, Wiltshire is an established precision engineering company with a passion for continuous improvement and delivering the highest quality products and services.

Over the years, this commitment has led the business to produce a wide variety of high quality components for its UK-based customers. Kristek recently, invested in new state-of-the-art facilities and machining solutions in Wiltshire. The day-to-day running of the business was passed to Ben Hellyer, son of Peter Hellyer, in September 2015.

Kristek is ISO9001 and ISO14001 accredited, has rigorous inspection policies, and is committed to providing excellent customer support from the early concept stage right through to project completion. The company serves clients in a number of demanding sectors – from power generation, defence and automotive, through to aerospace and safety equipment.

Kristek has been using Tricorn’s Production Control System successfully since 2007, however over the past few years as business levels increased, it began to experience difficulties with on-time deliveries. Ben Hellyer takes up the story: “We initially had a demo of the Tricorn:Scheduler system but felt it was a little too advanced for us at the time,” he explains. “We then looked at getting a bespoke scheduling/planning system developed but that didn’t really get off the ground.

“We also considered a number of other linked MRP/scheduling systems, but eventually, with the increased workload and struggle to manage capacity and priorities as we increased our number of machines, we decided to revisit the Tricorn Scheduler and install it on a pilot program for a number of months.

Internally, as is the case with all new software systems, there was a learning curve. Kristek had to establish confidence in the plan that was generated by the system, get to grips with all its capabilities and set-up rules and processes to make optimum use of resources.

One of the key factors in successfully operating a finite capacity scheduling system is discipline and adhering to process parameters: “Our workshop operators were already used to logging job/operation times so we had extensive historic details of setting and run times,” Mr Hellyer affirms.

“With the new Tricorn shop floor data capture (SFDC-e) system, the operators had more information available to them about each job and operation. We now have a SFDC-e terminal at virtually every CNC machine which is linked to the scheduler. When urgent changes are made and scheduled the operator’s screen immediately reflects the revised priorities.”

He continues: “Since we fully implemented the scheduler, on-time delivery has improved drastically and customer retention has followed suit. The bottom line is we have more confidence in planning and winning new work and new customers. Our staff morale has improved and the overall management of the business is far better.

“In summary, the scheduler is by no means bulletproof – but it’s pretty close. It has made a massive impact to our business and the team at Tricorn have been hugely helpful in maximising its full potential and tailoring the system to suit our work processes.

“We are now working towards ‘paperless manufacturing’ and our aim is to be as close to this objective as possible by the end of 2017. Tricorn’s SFDC-e system provides the ability to view drawings, setting instructions, tooling instructions and inspection details on the shopfloor terminals. This way we can ensure that the operators always have the latest versions of all documents available to them.”

Kristek is also aiming to achieve AS9100 accreditation before the end of the year and intends to use Tricorn’s material and parts stock management capabilities and traceability to help towards that goal.

Tricorn www.tricornsystems.co.uk

Kristek Precision www.kristek.co.uk

 

 

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