Established in 1987 and co-founded by Richard Scott, Kelvin Stone, and Pete Hellyer, Kristek is a highly-regarded precision engineering company with a passion for being the best. Over the years, this commitment has led them to produce the highest quality components for UK based industries, culminating in the recent reinvestment in state-of-the-art facilities and machining solutions in Wiltshire. The day-to-day running of the business was passed to Ben Hellyer, son of Peter Hellyer, in September 2015.
Kristek is ISO9001 and ISO14001 accredited, has rigorous inspection policies, and is committed to providing exceptional customer support from the early concept stage right through to project completion. Talented employees are experts in their field and are truly passionate about what they do. All of this allows us to guarantee the highest quality with every single component we manufacture.
Kristek provides high-quality precision components to the Power Generation, Defence, Automotive, Aerosol Can, Aerospace, Safety Equipment and many other sectors.
On-time delivery problem
Kristek has been using the TRICORN Production Control System successfully since 2007. However, over the past few years, as business increased, they started to struggle to achieve on-time delivery times. Ben Hellyer commented, “We initially had a demo of the TRICORN:Scheduler system but felt it was a bit advanced for us. We then decided to try and have a bespoke scheduling/planning system developed but that really didn’t get off the ground. We also considered looking at other linked MRP/Scheduling systems.” However, with the struggle to manage capacity and priorities as we increased the number of machines and the workload Kristek decided to revisit the TRICORN Scheduler and to install it on a pilot program for a number of months
Making it work
Internally we experienced a number of issues that needed to be overcome before using the scheduler in anger:
Process and Discipline
One of the key factors in successfully operating a finite-capacity scheduling system is discipline and adherence to process. Ben added, “Our workshop operators were already used to logging job/operation times so we had good details of historic setting and run times. With the new Tricorn shop floor data capture (SFDC-e) system, the operators had more information available to them about each job and operation. We now have a SFDC-e terminal at virtually every CNC machine which is linked to the scheduler. When urgent changes are made and scheduled the operator’s screen immediately reflects the revised priorities.”
Impact on business
Ben continued, “Since we fully implemented the scheduler our on-time delivery has gone through the roof! (see chart below). Our customer retention has improved. We have more confidence in planning and winning new work and new customers. Our staff morale has improved and the overall management of the business is far better.”
Ben concluded, “The scheduler is by no means bullet-proof – but it is very, very close! It has made a massive impact to our business. The Tricorn technical staff have been hugely helpful in getting us using the system to its fullest extent and tailoring it to our work processes.”
“We are now working towards “Paperless Manufacturing” and our aim is to be as close to paperless as possible by the end of 2017. Tricorn’s SFDC-e system provides the ability to view drawings, setting instructions, tooling instructions and inspection details on the shop floor terminal. This way we can ensure that the operators always have the latest versions of all documents available to them.”
Kristek is also aiming to achieve AS9100 accreditation before the end of the year and intend to use Tricorn’s material & parts stock management capabilities and traceability to help towards that goal.