Stuart Berry, new tooling introduction team leader at C Brandauer & Co Ltd, has been named The Manufacturer's employee of the month February 2015.
What is your role and what are the main responsibilities?
My job at Brandauer is new tooling introduction team leader. It involves taking full ownership of the practical manufacture of tooling for all new projects. This means I’m the first point of contact for the team, looking after manpower, material and resource management to start with, followed by prioritising workload, implementing monitoring systems and ensuring we hit Right First Time (RFT) scores.
It’s a varied role and you need to be on top of your game, utilising all the manufacturing skills you’ve picked up along the way, such as press allocation, 5S, and cost control. There is also a focus on design for manufacture to ensure we achieve significant set-up time reductions.
What are the key technical skills you use?
One of my favourite aspects of the job is that I work cross functionally between different departments within the business, meaning pretty much every day is different.
For example, I could be working on tool design Monday then follow this through to how it actually works with the toolmakers, ironing out any issues and getting a better understanding of the challenges they face in turning my concept into reality. Tuesday and Wednesday could easily see me completing CNC programming and operation and putting my growing CAD/CAM skills to good use to solve a complex design problem that the client has brought to us.
Finally, I’m also one of a select number of people in the business that has been trained to work in our world class Wire EDM cell, an £800,000 investment in two GF Agie Charmilles machines.
There have been many personal successes during my 10 years at Brandauer, both academically and on the shop floor. Recently I have completed a BEng Hons degree in the management of manufacturing systems, securing a First and one of the highest marks in my cohort in the process.
On a work front, I’m very proud of the innovative work I have completed around tool materials to improve production runs and the role I played in the implementation of our world class Wire EDM (WEDM) cell. The latter is capable of one micron tolerances.
What do you think is the best way to get more young people interested in manufacturing?
I feel the best way to get young people interested in manufacturing is to engage with them as early as possible, to get them interested in the way things work and engineering principles.
Once they are engaged in engineering it is all about keeping them interested. This does not mean sidelining them into the same task for years on end. Instead, give them opportunities to be involved with the most innovative engineering processes and technologies.