Durrington – 28th April & 5th May, 1988.
The reason for small visiting parties (in our case two of nine members each) was obvious as soon as we entered. To our age group it seemed we were visiting a series of open plan offices rather than manufacturing units. We learned during the introductory talk some interesting facts about the company and its very open management style: also its target of “order to delivery in 24 hours” of a wide range of products based on a few basic frameworks, themselves subject to frequent up-dating. Computer- based scheduling means that they can be accomplished with very small stock levels.
The company specialises in temperature measuring and control devices.
We saw machines for assembling micro chips onto printed circuit boards, single and multi-depth, assembly into individual instruments, test, stabilisation and calibration, each main product on its own “line”. Strangely final packaging, by hand, looked very out of date. We were interested by the means for avoiding build-up of static electricity on insulated components (including operators) in the warm dry atmosphere.
The type of work, precise but repetitive could easily lead to boredom and error, but flexibility and initiative are encouraged by the management style, and the work people we encountered all seemed keen and content. The skills made available by “in-house” training enable “one-off” special requirements to be met.