Professional Polishing Services (PPS) is renowned for its stainless-steel polishing service offered to clients across the world. Kirsty Davies-Chinnock, Managing Director at PPS and chair of the British Stainless Steel Association approached WMG to see if there was a way to identify and measure areas where productivity could be improved on a particular section (bright polishing). They had previous experience of the WMG Internship Programme, having taken on undergraduate, Andrew Chan, early in 2021 to examine productivity issues across key polishing processes.
WMG supported PPS to consider the best option to take their project forward and it was concluded that another internship would be most suitable. Altahir El-Tahir, a Manufacturing Systems Engineering and Management postgraduate at the University of Warwick was recruited and he kick started the project by examining the performance of all the machines on the bright polishing section. He analysed data from the machines to identify the percentage of uptime and downtime in addition to the revenue generated/lost per day, per month, per annum and the potential revenue that could be saved for the section. Alongside the data gathered from machines, he measured the additional tasks needed to produce the finish and calculated their direct cost to the process. A list of recommendations was made to improve productivity, including using a traffic light system to raise alerts on machines as well as changing the sequences of activity.
- Through the internship project PPS were able to pinpoint future improvements in productivity on the bright polishing section.
- Several of the suggestions have already been implemented including the purchase and installation of an additional overhead crane for this section, and there is a clear road map to implement others by the end of the year.
- The recommendations Altahir made to overcome these issues will increase output by approximately £125,000 per annum.
Kirsty Davies-Chinnock, Managing Director at PPS commented: “I am very pleased with the areas of improvement that Altahir identified. I would thoroughly recommend WMG’s internship programme to other SMEs who have projects that need particular resource and skills to resolve.”
Altahir El Tahir, WMG Intern added: “The supervisors from WMG were very supportive and provided me with a range of tools to implement. I am looking forward to working with WMG again.”
Liz McArdle, internship supervisor and innovation manager at WMG said. “I am delighted that Altahir’s work had such a great impact at PPS and has built on the success of the previous internship. The internship programme has provided PPS with some very comprehensive recommendations to overcome productivity challenges in the business and we look forward to continuing to work with PPS in the future.”