X-ray protection firm halves lead times and gives staff a pay rise

A manufacturer of X-ray protection equipment has halved its lead times and reduced production costs while in turn giving its staff a pay rise.

An SME team from Coventry-based Manufacturing Technology Centre’s manufacturing support services operation worked with Willenhall-based Raybloc, helping them cut lead times from 16 to eight weeks, while cutting costs by 10 per cent, removing the need for overtime and getting ISO accreditation nine months ahead of schedule.

The company was also able to give its workforce a pay rise.

Following the MTC’s intervention, Raybloc manufactured and supplied doors, lead lining and X-ray screens for X-ray theatres at Birmingham’s Nightingale Hospital.

Raybloc, which has been supplying radiation protection products to hospitals around the world for more than 20 years, called in the MTC when they realised that, despite a bulging order book, they had lost half a million pounds worth of work over a year because of uncompetitive lead times.

The MTC team helped with workforce coaching and mentoring, better planning and scheduling, identifying performance indicators in line with business strategy, and advised on technology introduction and workplace organisation.

Raybloc managing director Sean Haydon said: “The support we’ve had from the MTC has helped Raybloc achieve our objective of reducing lead times from 16 weeks to eight weeks and has improved profitability. I’ve been able to give the workforce a five per cent pay rise as a direct result of the increased output and gaining certification.”

Darren Massingham, senior advisor with the MTC, said: “The team at Raybloc have made tremendous progress in a short period of time. They are now in a position to get the most benefit from the new technologies they are introducing to continue to grow the business and reduce lead times further. Raybloc had issues typical in a lot of UK SMEs. I’ve been impressed by the commitment and high skill level of the employees along with the integrity, vision and passion shown by the management. I look forward to continuing the Raybloc and MTC’s working partnership.”