Cranfield names Brose UK ‘Best Factory’ of 2016

Posted on 21 Oct 2016 by Jonny Williamson

Brose UK has capped a 12-month period of rapid growth recently by taking the main prize at Cranfield University’s ‘Best Factory Awards’ 2016.

Brose UK beat off some of UK manufacturing’s best known names to secure Cranfield’s ‘Best Overall Factory’ title, sponsored by Toyota Material Handling UK.

Brose UK recently revealed turnover for 2016 was £195m, up £43m on the previous year – image courtesy of Brose UK.
Brose UK recently revealed turnover for 2016 was £195m, up £43m on the previous year – image courtesy of Brose UK.

Coventry-based supplier of seat structures and window regulators, reportedly impressed the judges with the way it has expanded, invested in skills and secured operational efficiencies following a major layout overhaul.

They also praised the firm for its investment in new technology, with more than €55m spent on increasing capacity, laser welding capabilities and infrastructure to allow for single flow sequencing on some of its lines.

The award comes just a week after Brose UK revealed turnover for 2016 was £195m, up £43m on the previous year.

Managing director of Brose UK, Juergen Zahl explained: “Winning the main Best Overall Factory Award is a major milestone for us on our journey and fantastic motivation for us to continue to improve.

“In addition to the main title, we were also awarded Best Engineering Plant making it a double celebration.”

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Brose UK, which employs more than 900 people across two plants in Coventry, has spent the past ten months completing a number of operational layout changes designed to improve supply to Jaguar Land Rover, Nissan and Toyota.

The plant’s quality performance has gone up significantly and a fully automated flow line is now in place for rear seats, which involves no manual handling in assembly.

A specially designed rig also provides unique acoustic testing on every front seat to ensure perfection before shipment.

Director of the Best Factory Awards, Professor Marek Szwejczewski commented: “The Brose Factory at Coventry has been developing its technical capacity and operational performance over the last few years.

“This has helped them secure more business in the competitive automotive sector. This year they have undertaken a successful restructuring of the plant and its production lines, which has resulted in improved material flow, lower stock holding and greater floor space optimisation.”