Half a million pound workshop investment boosts production at Sheffield Forgemasters

Published: 20 December 2011

Sheffield Forgemasters has invested half a million pounds in a bid to increase efficiency and space at its Brightside Lane base.

The £500,000 project, which included a renovation of an old Fabrication Shop to transform it into the new Foundry Pattern Shop, created more space to allow machinery to be positioned in a way that will increase production efficiency and coincide with the company’s lean manufacturing practises.

The relocation of the Foundry Pattern Shop is just one of many measures the company is taking to change the way operations are managed in a bid to reduce wasted goods, effort and time.

‘Lean Manufacturing’ will be introduced across the company over the next 12 months by members of staff who have been trained to introduce lean thinking into their areas of the business.

Geoff Spriggs, Pattern Shop Manager, said: “The roof, walls and floor were repaired and lighting, cranes, heating and extraction units were installed. Lean manufacturing was considered during the renovation as it is being enforced across all areas of the company and the extra space that the old Fabrication Shop had to offer allowed us to really think of ways we could make production more efficient and cut out anything that didn’t add value for our customers.”

As well as practical benefits, the renovation of the old Fabrication Shop has uncovered impressive original features of the building, including a stunning archway and two arched windows.

The windows which were originally bricked up, have been knocked through, creating a new source of light for the workshop.

Geoff said: “The arches bring lots of character so three months into the relocation project we decided to install new glass and frames to make them into a feature.

“It feels like a completely new building compared to what it used to be.”

Sheffield Forgemasters is hoping to uncover further arched windows on the outside wall of the new Foundry Pattern Shop that stands next to Brightside Lane and have submitted a planning application to Sheffield City Council.