Manufacturing facility enhancements at Lorient

Proudly a Made in Britain company, Lorient manufactures the highest quality sealing systems from its manufacturing facility in Devon. Spanning c.35,000 sq ft it is also home to Lorient's dedicated R&D and Testing & Technical Services facility.

Phil Woodrow, Lorient's Operations Director shares the latest developments at Lorient.

Tell us about your role

As an Operations Director in a manufacturing facility, my role is multifaceted. From overseeing operations activity and leading a diverse team, to implementing strategic plans and ensuring compliance.

Safety is of paramount importance – we adhere to strict safety protocols and I’m proud to provide a safe working environment for our employees. Compliance with health, safety, and environmental regulations is a top priority.

We’re manufacturing life safety products, so maintaining a high level of quality is critical for our manufacturing facility. We have rigorous quality control processes in place including regular inspections, testing, and implementing quality assurance measures.

Finally, and most importantly – our skilled workforce is the backbone of our manufacturing facility. From machine operators to technicians and engineers, each member plays a vital role in ensuring smooth operations. I’m passionate about building a team in which people feel empowered to be innovative and deliver results.

What improvements have recently been made to our production facilities?

One of our recent major developments has been to relocate our R&D and testing facility into Endeavour House – bringing all of our teams together for the first time! Part of this project has been to enhance onsite facilities, meeting and welfare areas for our teams, including the installation of electric charging points.

We also introduced a new ERP system into the business to help us automate and manage core business processes for optimal performance. This is bringing us a wealth of data supporting the planning of material supplies; and therefore improved customer delivery performance. We’ve introduced visual management screens throughout the factory and offices too.

We recently created our first ‘Golden cell’ in the LVH assembly – this area has undergone a radical transformation – including new working practices, visual management tools, 5S implementation and more. A future vision for the entire factory.

Quality and performance of our processes is key to our success. Many of the team have been involved in waste elimination process improvement workshops focusing on non-value-added operations, which remains our focus going forward.

What plans do we have in the future?

We plan to implement further improvements to the Lorient site including fast actions roller doors, which will keep the heat in through the winter; car park improvements; shopfloor layout improvements; improvement of staff welfare facilities. We are working through installing conveyor and automation systems improving ergonomics for our teams – all of which enhance productivity and makes us more competitive.

Looking ahead it is all about 'Operational Excellence' – improving every part of Lorient’s operation, with sustainability being at the heart of everything we do. Our Health, Safety & Environment Advisor will cover this huge topic in his forthcoming feature.