Electron Technical Solutions has been selected as an example of a UK automotive success story to be featured in HM Government’s Industrial Strategy document, entitled ‘Driving success – a strategy for growth and sustainability in the UK automotive sector’.

The case study looked at the story of how Electron implemented lean manufacturing, with support from the Northwest Automotive Alliance (NAA).

To ensure that the company could keep up with high demand from customers including Bentley, Jaguar Land Rover and Toyota, Electron sought support from the NAA’s Business Excellence programme.

The project sought to increase Electron’s overall effectiveness and capacity through further lean implementation – with a view to increasing turnover to £7 million. There were particular inefficiencies during product changes and the percentage of product defects was too high.

SMMT Industry Forum was brought in to look at processes and deliver an improvement programme. Processes were standardised, and organisation of the paint line and the layout of areas were improved. The principle of continuous improvement was also applied to the team meetings which took place at the beginning of each shift, as well as to the briefing board and instructions about how the line operates.

The project resulted in significant improvements, most notably getting processes right first time, leading to fewer defects and improved quality, less downtime, and increased productivity and capacity. This has allowed Electron to manufacture new products, such as the painting of the trim for the new 2013 model year Range Rover, in a more efficient way. The company is also on course to increase turnover as planned.