Sawing away downtime

Engineers from the One NorthEast’s North East Productivity Alliance (NEPA) have steered A&J Scott sawmill in Northumberland on course toward a £1.1m increase in turnover


Engineers from the One NorthEast’s North East Productivity Alliance (NEPA) have steered A&J Scott sawmill in Northumberland on course toward a £1.1m increase in turnover.


A masterclass held by NEPA has resulted in A&J Scott improving efficiency by fully automating one of its industrial saws. Turnover will increase by as much as £675,000 as a result of the reduced downtime.


The NEPA team is currently working with A&J Scott to analyse another of the saws that may be producing too many woodchips. By adjusting the process so that more boards are recovered from each tree it is estimated that profits could be boosted by over £100,000 per year.


Rosemary Bertram, A&J Scott finance director said: ‘I think we were all amazed at what we achieved in such a short time. Our data collection so far has proven that by adopting all the lean manufacturing techniques learned on the NEPA masterclass we can achieve an increase in turnover of £1.1m with an initial investment of £40,000 to automate some of the changeovers.


‘The savings are all more impressive when you consider that they have been made as a result of our engineers giving up a few hours of their time to change a couple of other things that were causing downtime at the plant.’