Cox & Plant Products Limited manufactures conveying systems for major processing plants. Vibratory conveyor systems designed by Cox & Plant process food effectively, improve the appearance of deep frozen products, make bulk handling of the product easier and ensure minimum downtime. Based near Birmingham, UK, Cox & Plant also builds distribution systems designed to synchronise with the world’s leading multi-head weighing systems.
Cox & Plant was established in 1973 and has a number of effective systems and procedures in place. However, as a forward thinking, global company, the management team were keen to look at how they could update some of their systems so that less time was spent on non core business activity and more added value could be created. Like many other manufacturing firms, some of the administrative functions were based primarily on paper and Cox & Plant were keen to move away from this to avoid errors and duplication and to become more productive.
Our collaboration with the WMG SME group has made such a big difference to our business, even so early on into the engagement. Piero and Onur have suggested some new ideas that will transform the business but are easy to implement and use. We strongly recommend that other manufacturing businesses take advantage of the support available through the Catapult Reach programme
Andy Cox, Managing Director, Cox & Plant Products Ltd
Andy Cox, Managing Director of Cox & Plant was made aware of the WMG SME group through Wayne Langford, Head of Strategic Programmes and Development at the Black Country Consortium which is an organisation that exists to support SMEs in the Black Country grow and become more competitive. Onur Eren and Piero Filippin made an initial trip to Cox & Plant to meet with the management team and to conduct a digital health check for manufacturing at the business. It involves looking at what systems are currently being used to manage functions such as workshop and production planning, costing and stock control and then making some suggestions to how technology can be used to optimise some of this activity.
Onur and Piero identified a number of key areas for improvement and delivered a workshop to Cox & Plant staff in engineering, accounts and production planning to highlight how simple technology solutions could be introduced into the business. They introduced a “Road-map to Factory 4.0” vision with practical and useful solutions for how the company could make updates to a range of functions resulting ultimately in an organisation that was communicating more effectively internally and externally with clients, suppliers and other stakeholders. They are now starting the first project which will involve digitising Cox & Plant’s production planning and creating a system for the company to better manage the manufacturing processes in the business.
So far, the company has viewed the support as “transformational”. Piero and Onur were able to communicate to the Cox & Plant team in an engaging way and the whole company are behind making changes that will future proof the business to deal with its impressive growth. The changes will result in many cost savings and will make the company much more productive. Other project ideas are now being developed, including using bar coding to track assets in and out of the business.