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IMI Precision Engineering shares lean manufacturing best practice

08 April 2018

IMI Precision Engineering has recently completed a series of factory tours, training sessions and workshops designed to share lean manufacturing best practice with one of Europe’s biggest trailer manufacturers, SDC Trailers.

A longstanding client of IMI Precision Engineering, SDC was impressed by the success of the lean processes implemented by its supplier’s Fradley facility in Staffordshire. With similar production processes which could benefit from a well-implemented lean programme, SDC requested support from its supplier so it could maximise the potential of its own lean journey. 

The knowledge-share began with a factory tour for members of the SDC senior management team, during which they observed the very facility which manufactures the components specified in their trailers. 

IMI Precision Engineering’s Plant Manager, Neil Williams, commented:

“A factory tour was the right place to start in order for the SDC team to truly understand the operational benefits of our lean manufacturing techniques. It was especially useful to be able to demonstrate this in an environment which produces a component that they are not only familiar with, but also purchase from us. 

“There were several lean elements which interested them in particular, including quick part changeover, in station process control and visual management.”

Following the tour, SDC was quick to adopt a number of IMI Precision Engineering’s lean concepts within its own lean journey, and requested further partnering in the form of lean workshops for the wider trailer manufacturing team.

A closer supply chain partnership

In addition to sharing lean manufacturing best practice, IMI Precision Engineering and SDC Trailers have also held two technology-focused workshops, in which the teams explored advancements in mobile pneumatics, as well as SDC’s customer roadmap for next generation trailer technology.

Neil Williams concludes: “When SDC Trailers approached us for support in its journey towards leaner processes is was a real demonstration of the close working relationships we have with our customers. 

“It has been an enriching process for both parties and our understanding of their needs as a customer has improved dramatically. Moving forward there will be training materials for SDC new starters and a quarterly technology workshop in which we will present new products and work to further understand their specific design and quality focus as an OEM.”

To find out more about IMI Precision Engineering’s lean manufacturing processes, visit or to discover more about the engineering behind SDC Trailers, go to

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