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Complacency is not an option

Prolonged increases in sales and the need to accommodate the build of larger equipment are catalysts for an expansion of facilities and staff at the European headquarters of a leading induction melting equipment supply company.

With a keen eye on succession planning and a positive focus on further development, Inductotherm Europe Ltd continues to grow the business amid a climate of increased demand year-on-year across the full range of equipment in all regions.

“The growth in sales that we have been witnessing for the past 18 months continues,” managing director Steve Hill tells Foundry Trade Journal. “We have had unprecedented demand and we can honestly say that this is in all territories and for both large and small scale projects and all induction melting needs.”

Following recent planning permission approval, the company is now in a position to press ahead with extensive site expansion plans, as reported in the September 2018 issue of Foundry Trade Journal. The investment will enable Inductotherm to expand into an additional 2,000m2, with the increased yard space bringing the expansion to a total of 3,780m2. “We will be adding a third to our manufacturing floor space,” Hill says.

Rather than attempting to accommodate requirements into the existing building on the newly acquired site, which is adjacent to the current shopfloor, a completely new facility will be built with exacting requirements to satisfy current and future needs. Of particular importance is an increase in height which will house two new 40t cranes for the design and build of larger scale equipment.

The expansion also frees up the existing shopfloor for reorganisation, which will improve the whole manufacturing production flow.

The physical enlargement of the company is part of a commitment to continuous improvement to maintain Inductotherm’s position as a world-leader; a commitment that has led to the employment of a continuous improvement manager to ensure an acute focus going forward. Andy Barnett is familiar with the castings industry and he also worked closely on a project with Inductotherm sister company Consarc. Thus, he has settled into his new role at Inductotherm where he is responsible for constantly evolving manufacturing improvements. “We have a fantastic ethos in the management and on the shopfloor at Inductotherm, with dedicated and very skilled employees who want to do the best for the company. However, improvement should always be the goal in terms of things like health and safety, meeting customer expectations and workflow processes,” he says.

“Continuous improvement is a requirement of ISO9001:2015 accreditation and we are keen to carry on incorporating this in our overall philosophy as we have for some time. It is important to understand bottlenecks, materials and product flow, and adopt various process improvements.”

New salesman, Paul Roberts is equally enthusiastic. “I have worked for lots of small companies but felt the challenge wasn’t enough,” he says. “Whilst I am new to this industry, I have worked in contracts and sales in engineering facilities since my apprenticeship and I have experience in sales and project management.”

Roberts says he is delighted to join a company of Inductotherm’s stature and that his main ambition is to be meeting customers. “There is such a good feeling about this company and I am looking forward to getting out there.”

With a customer base across the foundry sector and with a number of OEMs in all parts of the world, Inductotherm’s reputation is in no doubt but the desire to remain at the top of its game, even when the order book is extensive, is indicative of why the company has continued to dominate.

Steve Hill says this is not just because of the expertise and loyalty of those working at the company but also due to the recognition that there is always room for enhancement. “We are focused on increasing our resources, our footprint and making continuous improvements.” Clearly this busy time for Inductotherm looks set to continue, thanks to the tenacity and dedication of both its long-standing and its more recent members of the workforce.