23 November 2015
Xaar plc, the world leader in industrial inkjet technology, has been awarded “Manufacturing Site of the Year” for the second time in three years by theNMI (National Microelectronics Institute).
The NMI Awards ceremony, held last Thursday in London, celebrated this year’s key electronics innovations, people and companies from across the UK and Ireland. It has been running as an annual event since 2001. The Manufacturing Site of the Year Award 2015 recognises Xaar for implementing a number of initiatives which have led to on-target inventory, production cycle-time at a record low and productivity at a record high.
Wide-ranging projects include a programme of training with the Institute of Line Manager with every Cell Leader and supervisor completing Level 2 and Level 3 courses. This has ensured a solid level of leadership understanding and a consistent approach across shifts and areas of responsibility. Other initiatives have been to roll-out a standardised “A3” approach to problem solving, and also a programme of technician secondments into Process Engineering.
Typically the secondments are for four people at a time who spend three months away from their usual role under the supervision of the Engineering team, developing and implementing practical solutions. This increases the technical capability of production employees and is very motivating for the individuals involved. Business Improvement Techniques Training is also being rolled out across all employees in Operations from the COO downwards.
In addition, Continuous Improvement projects have been completed, many of which have been suggested through the company’s online “Ideas Hopper”. This is where employees can submit an idea that relates to one of Xaar’s 5 strategic focus areas. Many of the ideas submitted and implemented have delivered a cost saving which could be as much as £150k per year. Another Continuous Improvement project which focused on communications between teams has made a significant and direct impact on overall cleanroom productivity.
“I am delighted that Xaar has been given this award once more” comments Ted Wiggans, Chief Operations Officer, Xaar. “This is great recognition for the hard work carried out during 2015 by Xaar employees throughout the company, and particularly in Operations and R&D. As a result of improved collaboration between teams, a range of initiatives which focused on delivering the company’s strategic goals have been successfully implemented to great effect”.