Yorkshire aerospace engineering specialist Produmax has won a new national award which recognises how its staff and management have worked together and developed their skills to grow the business.
The Sharing in Growth Ikigai trophy was handed over in front of Produmax’s 70-strong Baildon workforce as well as customers, local councillors, engineering trade organisations and educational representatives.
The Ikigai trophy was presented to Produmax managing director Jeremy Ridyard by Dr Bryan Jackson CBE, chairman of Sharing in Growth (SiG), the intensive government-backed programme designed by industry to raise the competitiveness of the UK aerospace supply chain.
Produmax, whose plant is in Sapper Jordan Rossi Park, Baildon, was selected for the Sharing in Growth transformation programme in 2014. Since then, with the support of Sharing in Growth, Produmax has developed its business significantly, opened new headquarters, changed its culture, created a farsighted strategy and delivered operational performance in line with world-class practices.
The company is a supplier to world-leading aerospace companies such as Boeing, Bombardier, Moog and Meggitt, exporting 80 per cent of the flight control components it manufactures overseas to countries including USA, Canada, China, Morocco, the Philippines, and Mexico.
As a result, the family-run firm has secured almost £20 million in contracts, won three new customers and grown its workforce by 40 per cent. Having already consolidated two older factories into one new specially designed plant, Produmax has invested in a second factory which will open later in 2018 , supporting further growth and more jobs.
The award event was attended by VIP guests including Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Safran Nacelles, BAE Systems and Senior Aerospace as well as Bradford City Council, Keighley College and the EEF.
Produmax employees led a shopfloor tour that featured the many advances implemented with the support of Sharing in Growth. These included business improvement techniques, lean manufacturing cells, single flow process, lights out automation, new product introduction, new communications processes, manpower planning and problem solving.
The event also celebrated the award of national qualifications to 14 Produmax staff as part of the Sharing in Growth programme.
They were presented with a range of qualifications including Level 3 NVQ extended diplomas in mechanical manufacturing engineering, Level 2 and 3 certificates in business improvement techniques, HNDs and HNCs in mechanical engineering.
SiG chairman Bryan Jackson said: “Produmax are the embodiment of Ikigai in that they are good at producing something the world needs, they have grown the business and created a team culture where people are passionate about raising their skills to contribute to such a successful business.”
Accepting the award, Jeremy Ridyard said that Produmax’s growth and success relied on the capability and skills of its workforce and the support of Sharing in Growth as well as investment in a new factory and the latest engineering technology.
Finance director Mandy Ridyard said: “Our strategy is to grow our factory, grow our people and grow our business. We managed to consolidate two factories into one new one, introduce new levels of automation and improve our culture and brand exposure all at the same time.
“We know employee engagement is key to cracking the productivity puzzle and we have increased our employee engagement by 25 per cent and increased our productivity by 32 per cent. We are very proud of our achievements and will keep applying continuous improvement for continued growth.”