From Our General Manager:
I had the great privilege of visiting the Bolwell Thailand facility earlier this month. The stars aligned for my visit, with quality and production systems holding well and the Melbourne team as strong as an ox. I could finally get away.
After landing in Bangkok, we drove into the Hemaraj Industrial Park, near Rayong and I was once again reminded as to why Bolwell chose this location more than 8 years ago. It’s the professionalism that the Industrial Park conveys through the clean roads, modern factories and a general sense of progress. These are the same values that Bolwell lives by in everything that it does, so the fit is perfect. It’s also great to be neighbours with the world’s best manufacturers like Harley Davidson, Suzuki, Ford and MG.
The people at the Bolwell Thailand facility are skilled, diligent and always willing to help. The Management team is headed by Neil Decker who has an immense wealth of knowledge in Composites that he gained by working for some of the largest OE Composite Manufacturers in Australia. Just ask Neil a question on Composites and his eyes light up with delight- he lives and breathes Composite Technologies and he has been instrumental in implementing the biggest, game-changing, Closed Moulding systems that have ever been achieved. But, as Neil insistently interjects, he is supported by a great team of administration staff, production management staff, engineers and purchasing operatives who form the basis for the success of the production and engineering initiatives.
As you walk into the production area, you soon understand that the production method here is quite different to regular Composite Open Moulding. The Thailand facility have fully productionised their Closed Moulding and fine-tuned it to perfection. The system is neat, effective and minimizes material waste, adding to its LEAN characteristics. Of course, I had detailed knowledge of their system through my daily Skype calls to Neil, but until you actually see it in action, it is difficult to appreciate the true value. In our Thai facility, Closed Moulding is used to produce most Composites for the large OE Manufacturers including Caterpillar Underground Mining and Kenworth Trucks.
Through training and an inherent respect and understanding for Composite moulding, the Thai operators have become the best in the business. Everyone I met were keen to help and even try new ideas as they all promote the use of LEAN systems such as 5S, JIT and sequential part movement. And did I mention that they are all a great bunch of people with fantastic personalities to boot?
Thank you to the great team in Thailand! You hosted a wonderful visit and you should all be very proud of your achievements. I cannot wait to return!
General Manager, Bolwell Corporation.