Sheffield Forgemasters has invested half-a-million pounds in increasing efficiency and the way it uses space at its Brightside Lane base.
The project has included transforming an old fabrication shop into a new facility for making patterns for its foundry, creating more space and allowing machinery to be sited in a way that increases efficiency of production and fits in with plans to spread lean manufacturing practices.
Pattern shop manager Geoff Spriggs 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.”
Renovation hasn’t only resulted in practical benefits. Work in the old fabrication shop uncovered impressive original features including an archway and two arched windows which had been bricked up and have now been restored to create a new source of light for the workshop.
“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,” added Mr Spriggs.
Forgemasters hopes to uncover more arched windows on the outside wall of the new pattern shop.