Making The Move To Streamlined Production
FOR NATIONAL SPRINGS AND WIRE PRODUCTS NZ LIMITED (NSWP), POSTLOCKDOWN BUSINESS ADJUSTMENTS HAVE INCLUDED MOVING INTO BRAND NEW PREMISES IN PAPAKURA; AND THE TIMING HAS BEEN SPOT-ON WITH FULL ORDER BOOKS SIGNALLING A WELCOME REBOUND IN BUSINESS ACTIVITY IN THE WAKE OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC.
The company had outgrown its previous building in Wiri which made it increasingly challenging for general manager, Mike Baird to apply much needed production Efficiencies.
“We needed the space to create a systematic approach to production,” Mike says as Engineering News takes a tour of the bright and spacious new production area. His vision for a facility that maximised the opportunities to streamline the whole production process, has resulted in an environment that’s light years ahead of the one they used to operate in.
The containers in the yard that were used to store manufacturing materials have gone, replaced by floor to ceiling racking where wires of different gauges are lined up ready for use. Each of the production processes now has a dedicated area, within a circuit that leads through the facility and there is plenty of room around the machines, for set-ups and finished product handling.
While the move happened with military precision over one weekend, there were still gaps in the masterplan awaiting the arrival of new machinery from overseas. This included a larger tempering furnace, which is now in place and already having a big impact on production. One of the first customers to benefit from the increase in heat tempering capacity was Apex Valves, with one of their high-volume products going through in a single batch. Looking forward, Mike sees huge potential in meeting the demand from customers who require larger springs in quantity, for garage doors and trampoline springs.
Two new machines are due to land at the Boundary Road factory as this magazine goes to print. These are both spring coilers working with wire between 0.15-1.00mm and 1.00-3.00mm, each with their own automatic measuring software. These additions will offer more precise outcomes than the machines they are replacing and represent a continuing investment by NSWP in superior quality Products.
Plans are currently being drawn u p to build an office for Mike within the production area and an adjoining meeting room where projects can be discussed away from the clerical functions of the business. The new facility has also provided an opportunity to reinforce NSWP’s commitment to being a more sustainable operation. All the lighting is LED, and the new fork hoist is electric. There is an electric stock picker as well, enabling clean, quiet and speedy inventory Management.
NSWP also took the opportunity to interrogate its waste recycling regime and thanks to a new initiative is confident of recycling 75% of waste. Using rainwater to feed toilets has made a positive contribution too, helping to reduce the company’s footprint. The team at NSWP are justifiably proud of their new facility and Mike is keen to see their customers calling in for a tour.
“THE MOVE TO A BIGGER FACILITY HAS DELIVERED IMPROVED THROUGH-PUT,
DRIVEN PRODUCTION EFFICIENCIES AND PROVIDED THE SPACE TO
ACCOMMODATE NEW TECHNOLOGY. ALL OF WHICH BENEFITS OUR CUSTOMERS.”
MIKE BAIRD, GENERAL MANAGER
NATIONAL SPRINGS AND WIRE PRODUCTS
“Moving from an 800sqm factory to the 1,600sqm we have here seemed a big change on paper, but it’s only when you see what can be achieved with that extra space that you really appreciate the transformation we’ve undergone.”
As someone who has been to both places, I can only echo that sentiment – this is a significantly enhanced operation.
Originally published in New Zealand Engineering News – September 2020 issue – read it here.