Gary Bennett, Managing Director of Aurora Projects discusses the move towards a smart manufacturing platform and the need for operational transparency…
For years, UK manufacturing has been venturing further into niche markets, resulting in closed loop circuits being relied upon for process control. Further to this, micromanagement and inflexibility when it comes to adopting new approaches is doing nothing to help empower operations or maximise potential. This results in data being used to chart failures rather than to highlight areas for improvement or provide actionable insights into key business areas such as operations and supply chain management.
At Aurora lighting we have spent the last two years transforming our UK manufacturing facility in Swindon, putting transparency at the heart of operations and redesigning manufacturing processes to increase efficiency whilst saving cost. This overhaul has helped to take the facility from a manufacturing plant into a multi-faceted manufacturing platform, engineered to effectively meet customer needs.
A Manufacturing Utopia?
The backbone of UK manufacturing has been heavily reliant on outsourcing cheaper materials to maintain a healthy bottom line for years, making this pattern incredibly difficult to break. Whilst maintaining a focus on process and controls is essential, it is also imperative for a business to remain agile. Maintaining this balance and transparency ensures that the customer value chain is maximised and encourages business areas to share best practice - keeping the beat of our businesses in perpetual harmony.
You may think that this is just a manufacturing utopia? Well we would disagree, because through this new platform approach we have created transparent operations that are not only tailored to our customers needs, but also empower our teams across every layer of the operations.
As a result, for our projects business, 98% of supply chain is UK based; and our lead times and costs continue to beat industry standards. This approach allows us the opportunity to work on new product developments that don’t just embody the physical, but also the software and firmware...a truly smart UK manufacturing platform.