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The economy and rising commodity prices

Safestyle's Health & Safety record gets further recognition with another awardThe current state of the economy, with all our materials rising in price at astronomical rates month on month, means we need to ensure our double glazing products are 'Right First Time, Every Time' more than ever, and that the innovation projects are delivered on time and in budget in order to keep us competitive and way ahead of the competition!

Unfortunately we are seeing no ease in the rising commodity prices as market forces push the price of raw materials up. Although at Safestyle we certainly try and reduce the impact these have on our business, the fact that we aim to do things right, first time, and every time is crucial to remain competitive. We are continuing to look at different ways to optimise our window and door production and improve quality across the Group so all input is valued, however small and insignificant it may seem, to help us put in corrective actions and stop any issue reoccurring.

On site the WoW (War on Waste) continues at an aggressive pace, and there is still loads we can do to improve. With the cost of raw materials rising week on week this only emphasises the need to bring waste under even tighter control and improve yield in all areas, especially glass processing.

As mentioned in our last post, some of our Production Managers recently visited installation branches in order to gain a better understanding of any ideas for improvements they had that could be made by us. As this was so successful, we have now taken this to the next level by visiting and inviting a handful of other PVC Window & Door and Sealed Unit Manufacturers on a "Knowledge Sharing Exercise". So far this has been a great success as it has allowed us to observe the layout of other plants, their manufacturing methods and their machinery, and it has also allowed us to discuss common issues and problems.

One undisputable fact has come from the exercise is that the double glazed frames produced every day by Safestyle are truly an excellent product, in terms of both the quality of hardware and the overall finish of the product. We have seen several other producers' frames and not yet seen anything close to the quality we manufacture, dispatch and fit every single day as standard! That said, we are still far from perfect, with humans are at the heart of all our processes, and we have our own benchmarks and targets that we are striving to attain to produce the best windows and doors in the industry.

To paraphrase Charles Darwin, "It's not the strongest species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but rather the one most adaptable to change" and that is exactly what we aim to do via continuous improvement, adaptation of our processes, procedures and production methods - using the combined knowledge of our people, from our Operatives to (and including) our Senior Managers. We also continue to challenge our suppliers and are working hard to ensure that they continue to deliver us high quality products.

Quality and reduction in unnecessary waste from machinery faults are the focus for engineering at the moment. Engineering are working hand in glove with Quality & Production in an effort to increase the mean time to failure (MTTF) of machines in the PVC & Glass factory and produce quality products first time, every time. When any problems arise we carry out root cause analysis, from this analysis and rectification we have increased the MTTF of the SV 800 cleaning machines by 39% throughout the month. Other smaller projects also include an investigation into the cutting speeds of profile on the automatic saws.

Also, as you can see in the photo, some members of our Health & Safety Committee and departmental reps are proudly displaying the British Safety Council International Safety award for this year.

Finally, as we enter the busy summer holiday season, the HR function is continuing to support the factory throughout this busy summer period whilst maintaining the focus on quality and reducing costs. The 'Lean Office' project is well underway and already producing positive results.

26 July 2011

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Safestyle Manufacturing and Logistics, the UK's leading Super-fabricator of high quality, energy saving PVCu double glazing windows and doors
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