Factory layout design expertise helps timber supplier be more efficient

A timber supplier is already seeing production and efficiency improvements from a new factory layout developed with support from digital process mapping expertise at AMRC North West.

Mike England Timber, based at Hoghton near Preston, wanted to upgrade its production facility to incorporate a new layout and equipment. The company approached the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) North West for help and advice on the best way to cost effectively do the work, including streamlining manufacturing processes from four to one.

The research team at AMRC North West, which is currently based in Preston until its new £20m facility is complete at Samlesbury Enterprise Zone, used its digital process mapping and factory layout improvement expertise to help Mike England Timber deploy cutting-edge digital technology to deliver production improvements and ultimately, improve its bottom-line financial performance. The project was fully-funded through an ERDF initiative.

Jeanette Corner, managing director at Mike England Timber, said: “We are an independent UK-wide timber supplier and we take great pride in the fact that we are a family business that has been in existence for more than 50 years, and that we are now using the latest technology to lay the foundations for our future growth strategy.

“The new layout became operational this week and it has already demonstrated efficiency and production improvements to meet our increased demand, as well as offering a better service for our existing customers.

“The project took just over four months to complete, from process discussions to commencing operating using the new layout, as well as incorporating new flooring, electrics and CAD drawings.

“Throughout this time, the experience provided by the team at AMRC North West has been excellent, with the process being well communicated and seamless. We got exactly what we expected, resulting in a clear vision of what we needed to do, at each stage, to develop our new layout to meet our growth expectations.

“The AMRC North West’s knowledge and expertise was second-to-none, which was enhanced by the access to the additional funding provided. My team and I cannot thank them enough – seeing the new layout in action is very motivating, as well as creating a great deal of pride in the employees who have been involved from the original concept stage.”

Melissa Conlon, Commercial Director at AMRC North West, said: “We specialise in using our manufacturing expertise to help develop outstanding, cost-effective solutions, whilst also utilising our vast network of contacts and funding sources, to have real, meaningful impact for businesses.

“We wish Jeanette and her team every success with their new layout and future growth strategy. We were delighted to be able to help them with this journey.”


For further information, please contact Nicholas Hall, Business Engagement Manager [KH1] on 07510 409646 or n.j.hall@sheffield.ac.uk