Dedicated customer facility

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Machined Component Systems (MCS) has opened a dedicated manufacturing facility for customer Stuart Turner Pumps at its Redditch headquarters.

Mark Williams, MD of the Henley on Thames-based manufacturer of exclusive shower pumps, said: “We needed true partnership sourcing to answer a number of potential issues facing our business with sales expanding both in UK and especially in Export.

“I needed to future-proof both supply and quality and by merging our stand-alone facility into the MCS plant I have instantly achieved a number of key advantages that will guarantee that whatever ‘impossible’ demands sales put on us, we can now answer them with confidence.

“Why MCS? Well I had a number of things on my shopping list and, ironically whilst cost of course was one, it was not in the top three. Firstly, we needed access to a bigger skills pool of people, both in numbers and abilities. We also needed access to significantly more plant to manage peaks and troughs in demand and especially incorporate the latest thinking in process control. Now, not only do I not need to worry about the quality of my components, but we can concentrate more on the development of our exciting new products planned for the next 18 months.”

“MCS has honed its systems primarily in the automotive sector, one of the most demanding in the world, and to have zero defect production plus access to numerous other machines should one of ours need servicing, means that the bundle of services and skills on offer and the economies of scale made it an easy decision. I can now invest more executive time in the development of the company, expanding its client base and launching the new technology that will win us increased market share.”

MCS is now in full production on the 151 turned parts Stuart Turner Pumps needs for its range and has already enhanced prototyping and the R&D function. It will soon be looking to operate a full Kanban system which will keep stock levels and costs to a minimum yet provide the confidence that the production lines will not stop.

Warren Gray of MCS adds: “Stuart Turner produces over 140,000 pumps a year, which is a good number from my perspective. We have integrated their machines into the MCS facility and supplemented this plant with our own machines. The upshot is real manufacturing flexibility and increased volume which suit our processes and systems.

“We had to be flexible on costs to win this prestigious contract but this is a long term arrangement that suits my expansion plans and assists in financial forward planning. This is the first deal of this type and size but it reflects our recognition that a number of companies are thinking about their overheads and executive time drain arising from running their own small machine shops.

“I believe that this relationship with Stuart Turner shows that there is another, better way forward – ‘Partnership Shoring’ – as opposed to re-shoring, which should have a real role to play in the regeneration of British engineering.”

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Taken from Engineering Capacity 16/4/14.