HORIBA wins key industry award for excellence in electronic systems manufacturing

HORIBA UK announces that it has won the TechWorks 2021 Award for ‘Manufacturing Site of the Year’. This is in recognition of significant business improvements achieved thanks to the contributions made by all of its 180 employees at its Northampton based site, where it manufactures analytical and measurement instruments for multiple markets. Employee driven continuous improvements have enabled the Company to adapt and grow to better meet both its customer and employee needs, even during the global COVID-19 pandemic.

From the left: Kevin Robinson (YieldHub), Jonathan Mitchell (HORIBA UK), Richard Carter (HORIBA UK), Cleve Wright (HORIBA UK), Louise Allen (HORIBA UK),Ifigenia Balkoura (HORIBA UK), Piers Linney (Guest speaker) and Alan Banks (Techworks CEO)

The annual TechWorks Awards mark excellence in the technology industry that is driving the ‘Deep Tech’ economy of engineering and innovation, a strategic part of the UK’s future. HORIBA UK is contributing to this from its Northampton site, which is a centre for electronics system design and manufacture where customised solutions are developed and delivered. HORIBA’s Northampton site also provides an extensive array of instruments and systems for numerous applications ranging from automotive R&D, process and environmental monitoring, medical diagnostics, semiconductor manufacturing, to scientific R&D and QC measurements. It is this diversity in technology and customer support that make HORIBA UK a true solutions provider and enable its customers to improve their processes and push the boundaries in scientific research.

Through its internal employee driven ‘BlackJack’ Continuous Improvement Programme and extensive training programmes, HORIBA has been able to excel in an ever-changing business environment. The BlackJack Programme has generated significant improvements in operations resulting in reductions in waste and improved process efficiencies, while also boosting employee involvement throughout the Company.

Central to the success of the programme is the collaborative working of employees across HORIBA’s industry sectors, where all are encouraged to propose ideas for improvement projects, whether large or small scale, through a simple ‘Ideas Collector’ online portal. Nearly 70% of employees are now actively engaged in this process.

One such project was initiated by the idea of a design engineering employee who identified an opportunity to improve the material creation process in order to reduce internal costs and prevent delays for customers. By creating a team for this project from across the company, a six Sigma methodology plan was developed to collaboratively map, understand and solve the problem. This ultimately resulted in significant cost reduction and enhanced customer relations.

Receiving the award at the annual TechWorks Awards ceremony, Richard Carter, Director for Automotive at HORIBA UK, said, “I am so proud to accept this award on behalf of all of our HORIBA UK employees for the business improvements they have delivered at our Northampton manufacturing site. It is a testament to their dedication to drive positive change and the vital role that they played in achieving the results. This has enabled us to trade profitably and maintain our headcount, even in the face of the unprecedented challenges created by the COVID pandemic.”

“HORIBA’s focus on positivity and support for all employees has created a culture of continuous improvement for the benefit of all, to make us a great manufacturing company that constantly enhances both our products and our customer experience. We continue to build on our successes and work with our customers to enable them to be more successful,” Richard added.

The TechWorks awards celebrate the achievements and behaviours conducive to a healthy and vibrant tech industry in the UK. Open to all organisations active within the tech industry, there are award categories for a wide range of sectors. 2021 saw a high number of strong entries from across industry, which were carefully considered by an expert panel of judges to create a final shortlist per award category. The award winners represent true diversity across the industry, ranging from smaller companies to global corporations.

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