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We moved Pre-Press to become a more streamlined manufacturer.

Moving Pre-Press: RH Technical Industries Ltd.'s ongoing transformation into a sustainable streamlined Lean manufacturer.

Business Related
08/08/2022

We moved Pre-Press to become a more streamlined manufacturer.

Since RH expanded our production floor space earlier this year, there has been an ongoing push to become a leaner, streamlined manufacturer. As a part of this process, we recently underwent the major upheaval of moving an entire department to a new building. This move is one step in our overall plan to make the business more sustainable. We aspire to create a smooth manufacturing process from the customer’s first contact to their product delivery.

Our in-house pre-press department is a crucial cog in our manufacturing process, where the customer’s artwork is exposed to a photo-sensitive polymer. Then the polymer on the screen material is washed out to create negative space for screen printing inks to pass through onto a substrate material. Having this on-site department means there is always an immediate response to any print issues.

PRE-PRESS

Careful planning

This departmental move was a colossal undertaking. The activity involved careful planning in mitigating the knock-on effects on the rest of the business. Preparing for a department shutdown of several days involved creating backup screens for each job on the press during the move. This way, if something happened on the press, adequate backup screens would be prepared to fall back on. Thankfully, production was not affected by the move, and the department was back up and functional within the allocated 2-day window.

Saying this, it was no mean feat to move some of the larger machinery from one building to another and elevate them up to the second story of our manufacturing unit. Thankfully, everything went smoothly, and now the pre-press department situates directly over the top of the screen-printing department. This proximity will save thousands of production hours over the coming years. This is resolved by simply removing the travel from one unit to another.

Lean thinking

What on the outside may look like a simple departmental move is a part of our ongoing Lean thinking. We aim to remove waste from our working processes. Waste can come in many forms, and using the acronym “TIMWOOD” helps us target these different issues and draws them from our business models. Being constantly vigilant of these seven areas of waste management enables us to step away from the manufacturing processes we know inside and out; to see the potential issues that may lie within.

  • Transport – Transporting materials or information by any network.
  • Inventory – Materials or information waiting for processing.
  • Motion – Any motion that does not add value is a waste.
  • Waiting – Time spent waiting on items required to complete a task.
  • Overprocessing – Effort and time spent processing materials. (Extra steps)
  • Overproduction – Producing more information or product than the customer needs.
  • Defects – Time spent repairing or reworking material.

Once you see a potential issue, it is far easier to enhance the manufacturing processes. Streamlining the waste that may occur. We are committed to improving the manufacturing process for mutual results. This benefit not only us but also our customers. Using “TIMWOOD” helps RH continually improve our goals. Keeping RH the leading supplier of Membrane Keypads, Graphic overlays, and Industrial Plastic Printing in the UK.