The inspired thinking that engineering apprentices can bring to high-tech manufacturing businesses is perfectly illustrated in a project helping EJOT UK to improve the efficiency of one of its main production lines.
Josh Mozer, who joined EJOT UK as an engineering apprentice at the age of 16, has successfully completed a project to develop a unique machine. This has improved productivity in the manufacture of LIEBIG heavy duty anchors.
These components are widely used in construction projects throughout the world, with each one requiring an identification code to be clearly marked on the tube that encases the mechanical elements.
It is here where Josh’s deep understanding of EJOT’s processes and his proactive approach has made a significant difference. With no standard ‘off the shelf’ machine available to perform this code stamping process on a fast-moving production line, he was tasked with developing a bespoke machine that would be easy to use and put safety first by operations manager Simon Pearson.
With only a 15 second video clip of a similar machine available to help develop the initial concept, Josh set to work on designing a machine to meet the brief. One major challenge was to ensure the machine could stamp on all 360 degrees of the outer tubing, a factor that leant itself to a rolling system.
Once Josh’s design was approved by the management team, he coordinated the building of the machine in-house using custom-made materials and components, including liaising with a number of external suppliers.
Now installed and fully operational, the new machine enables the LIEBIG production line to run at maximum efficiency at a rate of one part every three seconds – with every heavy duty anchor featuring a clearly stamped identification code. The future aim is to grow this machine into a family of operational units, to fulfil the growing demand.
Josh comments: “I’ve always liked problem-solving, so this project was perfect for me! It’s been thoroughly enjoyable and I’ve loved the challenge of ‘we need this machine, build me it.’
“Having creative freedom in the project has been fantastic too, which is an aspect of this job I really appreciate, giving me the opportunity to apply everything I’ve learned since my initial apprenticeship.
“This started after I completed an NVQ Level 2 at the Skills Exchange in Castleford. I was selected for the two-year engineering apprenticeship at EJOT, which was amazing because only a handful of places were available at the time.”
With the support of EJOT UK to develop his technical knowledge and skills from day one of his apprenticeship, Josh is now a key part of the team. His engineering role includes a variety of roles including preventative and reparative maintenance, machining, research and development, welding and fabrication and prototyping.
Simon Pearson, Operations Manager at EJOT UK, adds: “We’re delighted with the contribution that Josh has made with this project. It has helped increase our production capacity for a product range that is renowned in the construction industry around the world.
“Josh has applied himself so well to create a machine that leads to more efficiencies in the production process, as well as making the process easier and safer for all members of the team.
“We value all our apprentices hugely as they are the lifeblood of a business like ours which is continuously innovating with new products and ways of working. The energy and ideas that apprentices and former apprentices bring is clearly evident in how Josh has handled this major R&D project, which is why we have asked him to mentor our latest apprentices who we hope can follow in his footsteps.”
EJOT UK currently has 10% of its HQ workforce benefitting from an apprenticeship programme in some form across the business, in areas including technical services, quality management, engineering and manufacturing.
Qualification goals are both vocational and degree level where participants attend college or university on a day release basis.
Sherburn Enterprise Park
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