Merseyside UK shipyard and engineering services company Cammell Laird has appointed a new quality assurance manager to forge closer relationships with suppliers and bring best practice from other industries to his new role.
Gordon Maxwell is the new QA manager heading up a team of 19 striving to deliver the company vision of getting it right first time.
He said he is looking to take a more proactive approach to quality assurance as he draws on his experience of working for the likes of television parts manufacturer Philips Components and central heating manufacturer Baxi.
“Our aim is to ensure customer satisfaction by building things on time, at the right quality for the right price,” he said. “Cammell Laird is going through a transition period, with new orders and new opportunities coming in all the time. We have a good quality team here and we are trying to bring some new ideas to move quality upstream by being proactive.”
Gordon comes to Cammell Laird from Precision Polymer Engineering, in Blackburn, which makes specialist O-rings and seals for the aerospace and defence industry, among others. He has experience of three different foundries working with cast Iron, steel, stainless steel and aluminium.
During his first weeks in the job, Gordon spent time in each department to get to know the people and the processes in place. He said he would be reviewing processes documentation, technology and measurement systems in place. “I want to try to break down barriers, to find out about any issues that exist – whether that is around a piece of equipment they feel is inadequate or that they think they are not getting the right support, for example,” he said. “I have worked with smaller products before but the quality principles are the same. The aim of the department going forward will be to strive to have the right systems and procedures in place to ensure there are no errors.”
Work will also be done in upskilling the workforce where necessary and cultivating closer relationships with suppliers. “I will be visiting suppliers to make it clear what our specifications are, and to assess their processes and quality control systems,” Gordon said. “We need tough controls with our suppliers and processes in place so that nothing can be changed without prior agreement, and strong relationships so that if we want to ramp up manufacturing then we could do so.
“It is about capturing best practice from other industries so that Cammell Laird can become more efficient and continue to lead the way.”
Tony Potter, HSEQ director, said Gordon’s appointment marked Cammell Laird’s commitment to bringing up quality levels across every department in the shipyard.
He said: “Gordon brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience, having worked in the quality control industry in a variety of sectors and he recognised the opportunity to be a part of what we are trying to achieve here at Cammell Laird. We have a strong quality team here at the shipyard but we know we could be doing more to get it right first time, so Gordon will help us to achieve that and ensure customer satisfaction every time.”
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About Cammell Laird
Founded in 1828, Cammell Laird is one of the most famous names in British shipbuilding and is based on the River Mersey in Birkenhead in Liverpool City Region. The site covers 130 acres and includes four dry docks, one of the largest modular construction halls in Europe and an extensive network of covered workshops as well as direct access to the sea and a 15 acre non-tidal wet basin which is again one of the biggest in Europe. Cammell Laird is also at the centre of a marine and engineering cluster with easy access to support services classification societies and port state authorities.
Cammell Laird is rapidly expanding as a cutting-edge engineering services specialist with a highly skilled workforce and extensive world-class facilities to support a broad range of sectors and projects. The company has continued to develop its capability in the marine sector and is a world leader specialising in military ship refit, commercial ship repair, upgrade and conversion and shipbuilding.