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Seco Tools UK appoints Richard Smith as its new Manufacturing Manager

Seco Tools UK appoints Richard Smith as its new Manufacturing Manager

Added to MTDCNC by Seco Tools (UK) Ltd on 28 May 2014

Seco Tools UK, a leading supplier of complete machining solutions to the metal-cutting industry, has recently appointed ex-Lotus F1 Team’s Machine Shop Manager, Richard Smith, as its new UK Manufacturing Manager.

 

With extensive manufacturing and production management experience gained over the last 28 years with a number of F1 teams including Williams, Mercedes and most recently Lotus - Mr Smith in this senior management position will be responsible for the strategic development and future growth of Seco’s UK-based Custom Tools’ operation located at the company’s Technology Centre in Alcester.

 

Since starting in April 2014, Mr Smith has initiated a comprehensive review of Custom Tools’ existing manufacturing methods, processes and systems, and has begun a thorough audit of its production capacity and capabilities as a route “to improving efficiencies, adopting flexible and high-productivity cellular manufacturing, and providing a ‘premium’, totally customer-focused tooling solutions service.'

 

Seco’s Custom Tools’ facility is, amongst UK-based cutting tool companies, unique and is where be-spoke tooling solutions are designed, manufactured and delivered to customers.

 

To ensure quality, cost-competitiveness and lead time fulfilment Seco’s Custom Tools’ operation is well resourced, employing 14 members of staff, and uses the latest manufacturing and machine tool technologies – e.g. multi-axis machines tools with integrated automation; advanced CAD/CAM software platforms and measurement and inspection systems etc. 

 

In many respects the technologies and production processes employed within Custom Tools are similar to those found in the motorsport sector.

 

Explains Richard Smith:

'There are obvious similarities between F1 and the Custom Tool operation such as the emphasis on small batch production, the stringent part tolerances and surface finishes required and the use of automation to improve productivity and ensure lead time fulfilment.'

 

Other ‘common’ characteristics include ensuring accurate, relevant and real time internal and external communications, and constant monitoring of performance against targets and customer expectations.

 

Continues Richard Smith:
 

'In many respects the ‘can-do’ team spirit at Seco mirrors that found in a F1 team - and the focus on continuous improvement and on developing and sharing best practice to better service our customers, is a real strength that’s apparent not just within Custom Tools but across all Seco operations.

 

'Custom Tools is Seco’s ‘jewel in the crown’. I’m committed to mobilising all the resources at my disposal to improving its performance and realising its potential.'

 
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