2023 marks a significant milestone for our factory - it is the 60th anniversary of the Halewood plant.
As a 60th anniversary is often called a diamond anniversary, we have launched a new monthly feature to celebrate our very own Halewood Diamonds – past and present – recognising them throughout this special year for the plant.
Our second Halewood Diamond recognition goes to Matthew Condliffe, from Plant Quality, who raised a ‘wheely’ good kaizen last year which has significantly improved quality.
Matthew created a game-changing portable break-back torque wrench calibration system, on wheels, which ensures that the torque tools our associates use to fix the bolts to the joints of our cars are working correctly.
This super sustainable station was fabricated from an upcycled TIAP (Torque Integrity Assurance Programme) trolley and contains two digital torque transducer gauges powered from an on-board battery.
Matthew designed the system himself working with Adam Williams from the Body Production Dimensional Assurance Tool Room team, who built Matthew’s Kaizen entirely in-house, using recycled metal.
Previously, the calibration technician would have to carry and use heavy manual dial type torque gauges to calibrate their wrenches, however, now the trolley can be brought directly to the point of use on the line, saving time.
Matthew said: “Torque wrenches are used to secure or check the joints on our cars, so it’s essential that they are calibrated regularly, to ensure they are operating correctly and within specification.
“If our torque wrenches are not accurately set to the required Newton-metre (Nm), which is the unit used to measure the torque (the twisting force on the wrench), the operator may have to apply more force than is required to turn the head of the bolt and could potentially injure themselves or inadvertently cause damage to the car.
“This new system is quicker – as we can bring it directly to the line, and it is easier for the operator to use, allowing us to calibrate many more gauges at the lineside, greatly reducing motion and conveyance waste. It is also more accurate, as the digital torque gauges measure the torque to two decimal places – simple but game-changing.”
Michelle Griffiths, Halewood Plant Quality Manager, said: “Matthew is extremely conscientious and is always exploring ways to improve his work area. This is just one example of the many kaizens he and his work group raise to keep driving to make his area the best it can be and he is so deserving of this recognition.”
Making small continual improvements through raising a kaizen - just like Matthew did - is a key way that employees can play their part in Refocus. It helps us to unlock the potential which transforms the way we operate at Halewood to improve the quality, sustainability, and profitability of our vehicles.