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Cumbria toy makers show how going green pays

The benefits of going green add up for educational toy and furniture maker Twoey Toys, of Caldeck, Cumbria, which has boosted its environmental performance to save cash and raise both productivity and sales.

The family owned business has worked with the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) www.mas-nw.co.uk team at The Manufacturing Institute to free bottlenecks in production and reduce waste material sent to landfill. This has created an additional source of green energy, boosted productivity by £78,000 and increased sales by £150,000.

A performance review visit by MAS practitioner Jim Dowell identified problems in production and waste-disposal that were costing the business both time and money.

Explained Jim Dowell: “Twoey uses waste wood as fuel for the factory heating system, but the same horizontal beam saw was used to process this as well as to provide parts for products, and the result was a bottleneck in production. Because the saw could not handle all the waste, some material and pallets were sent for recycling and to landfill, costing the business £7,200 a year in charges and wasting a valuable source of green energy for the factory.

A cost-benefit analysis showed that a £28,000 investment in a new hogging wood-grinding machine for the waste disposal tasks would quickly pay dividends, and this was acquired with financial support from a £10,000 Capital Equipment Fund grant from the Northwest Regional Development Agency, as part of the Agenda for Change programme delivered by The Manufacturing Institute.

The new machine not only increased equipment availability and productivity, but also cut down time wasted by staff moving scrap material around the factory, made full use of scrap wood as a sustainable energy source and reduced the amount sent unnecessarily to landfill. It also cleared the scrap wood store from the car park, which has freed up additional space.

MAS also worked with Twoey to re-establish 5S workplace organisation systems in the workplace – enabling the company to manage higher productivity and ensure a smooth and efficient flow of manufacturing processes.

Said Rachel Kilpin-Miller, Production Director: “As a business we strive to be environmentally responsible and buy our wood from sustainable Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) sources. It is very satisfying to take this further in reducing the waste we send to landfill.”

For further information call 0800 458 9585, www.mas-nw.co.uk

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