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Editor's Pick


In the shadow of Concorde…

04 November 2013

…sat CDA’s Consulting Editor Andy Pye, one of the judges for the winners of the 2013 Brammer Awards, held this year at the Concorde Runway Visitor Park in Manchester. Back down to earth, this is his brief report on the event.

The Concorde Runway Visitor Park in Manchester was the 2013 venue for a prestigious annual event and awards ceremony attended by some 150 senior executives from all sectors of British industry.

Brammer, the distributor of industrial maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) products and services, and – for the first time - Buck & Hickman, the distributor of tools, maintenance and health and safety products, acquired by Brammer in 2011. The companies showcased examples of best practice, innovation and continuous improvement in maintenance spares procurement and management.

Make-room for innovation

The event, now in its seventh year, was hosted by Sasha Twining, a news anchor who has presented high-profile daytime shows for both Sky News and the BBC. The keynote address was given by Will Butler-Adams, MD of Brompton Bicycle, which designs and is on target to produce more than 45,000 folding bikes this year from its London factory. After admonishing London’s Mayor for riding a Taiwanese bike, Butler-Adams urged his peers to "make-room for innovation” and creativity in their companies and shared his vision for a more dynamic, publicly recognised and accessible UK manufacturing base. He closed his speech with a plea to his male-dominated audience to support the recruitment of more women to manufacturing.

Other presentations were given by representatives from companies including the Royal Mint, Siemens, Diageo and EDF, who shared their own experiences and successes in the areas of vendor consolidation and best practice in supply chain management, and how their work in partnership with Brammer and Buck & Hickman is delivering measurable commercial benefits.

The judging process was, as always, very tough

Ian Ritchie, managing director of Brammer UK and Buck & Hickman, said: "The Awards recognise those who have achieved outstanding results and it is wonderful to see so many companies of all sizes and in a broad range of sectors continuing to demonstrate best practice. The judging process was, as always, very tough, with entries of a very high standard, leading us to create for the first time a ‘highly commended’ award. Our congratulations go to all the winners.”

Andy Pye was lead judge on the Improved Production Efficiency category in the Brammer section, won by the food manufacturing company Pepsico for a project which unlocked both cost and energy savings on the air handling units of its production lines by changing from standard V-belts to Gates Polychain. The project used the company’s multi-pack line 5 to pilot the change, and measured the power savings achieved before and after.

The initiative saved 25kW of power and a 27A drop in current Pepsico scaled up the project to replicate the change on all of its air handling units and this  is predicted to yield cash savings of £330k over three years and about 150kW of energy each year.

The entry closely pipped strong entries from the shortlisted Tata Steel and Rolls-Royce to carry off the coveted trophy.