We speak to the terrific TIC team that is bringing Refocus to life at Halewood after devising a novel new way of improving the quality and efficiency of the boron separating process in Body and White.
‘Separated for Good’ which include associates; Terry Callaghan, Cliff Ollerhead, Dave Lee, Andy Hughes and Otis Donnelly designed and built a new tool from scrap metal which is being used to separate boron sheets- these are the large, coated metal parts that reinforce and strengthen the doors on our vehicles.
Boron components are formed using heat, so once the metal cools down, it tightens, which makes it difficult to separate the sheets, which are stacked on top of each other after they have been built.
Up until now, associates would have to apply force to separate these parts which could result in injury, damage to the work area or defects to the boron, which would then need to be repaired. The new tool created by the team is designed like a crowbar, which makes it easier for associates to separate the boron sheets and has driven efficiency and productivity on the line, allowing operators to get through an average of 36 parts per hour, compared to 27 before.
Otis Donnelly said: “The beauty of this project is that it’s improving quality and safety but has cost us nothing as the tools have been made from scrap using the skills of our own people.
“The tool makes the process safer for associates and means they are not damaging their work environment by smashing away at heavy metal parts- like they did before.”
Thanks to their innovative idea, Separated for Good has been selected as one of the Fantastic Five Halewood TIC circles which has been chosen to represent the plant at next month’s TIC UK Recognition Activities, in Eastnor.
And to improve efficiency further, the team has also designed a special holder to hang the boron separating tools in, so associates can easily find them when working on the process.
Terry Callahan, a trained welder, who built the tools and holder said: “It’s been great to be able to use my skills as a welder to create something which will help associates to do their job more effectively and improve the quality and efficiency of our processes, which is what Refocus transformation is all about.”
Talking about taking part in the TIC process, Cliff Ollerhead, said: “TIC helped us to take an idea and turn it into a reality. We all learnt a lot through the process, and it gave us exposure to other people in the business, who we wouldn’t normally get to work with on a daily basis so it was a great learning experience.”
Andy Hughes said: “TIC challenged us all to come out of our comfort zone and I now feel more confident to present my improvement ideas to managers and am proud of what we have achieved as a team.”
Dave Lee, added: “We were also lucky to have such a good team leader in Clark Taylor who supported us throughout the process and even covered for us on the line so we could still get together and do our project meetings when we were facing high levels of absence through COVID.”
Getting involved in continuous improvement through TIC is a key way that employees can play their part in Refocus transformation.
Refocus is helping us to transform the way operate to improve our quality, sustainability, and the profitability of our vehicles. This will ensure Halewood is in the strongest position to successfully rollout the electric architectures earmarked for our plant as part of Jaguar Land Rover’s Reimagine strategy.