Taking efficiency to the next level

Usually, when talking about increases in efficiency or production, businesses have the production line itself in mind, with higher feed rates, more manpower or even additional production lines considered.

Companies wouldn’t necessarily think about the higher efficiencies associated with the work environment – but this was exactly what Don Whitley Scientific had in mind when it contacted Hoffmann Group’s sales manager Paul Walker to refurbish its workshops in West Yorkshire.

Don Whitley Scientific (DWS) is a leading manufacturer and supplier of innovative equipment and services to the microbiology and tissue culture industries – primarily for use in hospitals, public health laboratories, food testing organisations, pharmaceutical companies and research institutions.

The company required a reliable partner when it came to quality and service, as Fergus Murray, product engineering director at DWS explains: “We decided to work with the Hoffmann Group because of the quality of their products and the service they provide.”

Assembly area before redesign

During MACH 2016, Mr Murray and managing director Paul Walton visited the Hoffmann stand and were impressed with the quality of the company’s workstation and storage solutions so they requested an overview of their own workshops.

During a visit at DWS, Paul Walker and his team produced a first draft of the workshops showing how they might look like equipped with new workstations and tool cars. Using state of the art software for planning and design, the team were able to provide a clear impression of the new layout. Ideas could be implemented immediately during the planning process and changes could be made with a simple mouse click.

And after redesign

To help DWS achieve its goals of improving the working environment, increasing the throughput of products and the general layout of the production department, the Hoffmann Group introduced 5S methodology – originally developed in Japan and identified as one of the techniques that enables ‘Just in Time’ manufacturing. It is a systematic and methodical approach allowing teams to organise their workplace in the safest and most efficient manner.

Due to the crucial nature of its business, DWS knows all about the importance of cleanliness and safety, which can be easily achieved with 5S. The workstation and storage solutions offered by the Hoffmann Group support these features comprehensively; not only can the workstations be individually customised and equipped – even the foam inlays in the tool cars can be designed for each individual purpose.

The two-colour system shows at a glance whether a tool is missing. Every single tool gets its own place, reducing the time spent searching: “We will definitely be purchasing more equipment from Hoffmann as we have been able to increase our productivity by approximately 10 to 20% of available man hours, just by optimising the work environment”, Mr Walton concludes.

Hoffmann Group www.hoffmann-group.com

Don Whitley Scientific www.dwscientific.co.uk



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