Following a rigorous judging process, Schaeffler (UK) Ltd's manufacturing plant in Llanelli, South Wales, has been awarded the Manufacturing Prize at the Wales Quality Awards 2008 – at the first time of entering the competition. A team of five staff, including Plant Director Roger Evans, accepted the award on behalf of Schaeffler (UK) at the awards ceremony held at the City Hall in Cardiff on 10 November.
An annual competition, the Wales Quality Award is based on the EFQM European Excellence Model. The awards are open to all companies based in Wales, including manufacturers, service providers, financial organisations, educational establishments, hospitals and local authorities.
Winning a Wales Quality Award is a genuine accolade for any business. The assessment process has grown to become one of the most popular awards processes in Europe, and many companies who have taken part do so year on year, using the Awards process as a fundamental part of their company's planning process to drive business improvement.
Roger Evans, Plant Director at Schaeffler (UK) Ltd, comments: "We are absolutely thrilled to win this award at our first attempt and this once again demonstrates the outstanding manufacturing performance of this plant and its workforce."
Enablers and results
A team of assessors from the Wales Quality Centre visited the Llanelli plant in October to look in detail at the factory's manufacturing performance over the last three years, as well as the systems and processes that enabled this. Other key factors were measured including leadership, impact on the local community and social responsibility. In addition, the plant submitted a full report against the EFQM model. This included information on plant 'enablers' and 'results.'
Established in 1955, the Llanelli plant manufactures high-precision engine components for the automotive market. The plant currently employs 260 people and is an autonomous subsidiary of the multi-national German-owned Schaeffler Group.
Investing in its people has always been a high priority for Schaeffler UK. Since a culture change programme was introduced to the Llanelli site in 2001, the plant has seen some formidable improvements. Nearly all operators have now achieved NVQ Level II in Performing Manufacturing Operations. Many operators have also requested to proceed to NVQ Level III and all employees at the plant have now undergone training in 5S Workplace Organisation. There are currently seven engineering apprentices plus two graduate trainees working at the plant.
For more information on Schaeffler's range of automotive engine components, go to www.schaeffler.co.uk.