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Northern Powerhouse European Union
Operational Efficiency

Funding for Lean implementation brings new business for Fairham Mouldings

The Overview

Fairham Mouldings are rubber component experts, manufacturing precision rubber components for industrial sectors including aerospace, automotive, transport, manufacturing and food & drink.

The business is based in Blackburn in Lancashire and employs 18 people.

John Fairhurst, Managing Director, Fairham Mouldings

John Fairhurst, Managing Director, Fairham Mouldings

Fairham Mouldings

Fairham Mouldings needed to reduce lead times and increase capacity in order to deliver new business

The Challenge

The business was in the running to win some new large contracts, but they identified gaps within their systems and processes. John Fairhurst, Managing Director at Fairham Mouldings realised that the business needed to implement new processes to increase capacity and reduce lead times to deliver the new contracts, whilst developing existing systems to ensure quality and consistency in production.

John said:

“It was critical that the business reduced lead times and production costs, whilst increasing productivity if we were to be successful in delivering these contracts. Which is why we called upon the Manufacturing Growth Fund for support”

Lancashire’s dedicated Manufacturing Adviser met with John and the team, getting to know the business and the site. Together they saw an opportunity to upskill the production workforce and management teams to implement lean techniques which would help them achieve their objectives.

The Solution

The business received a grant from the Manufacturing Growth Fund to bring in a Lean Manufacturing specialist. The consultant supported the implementation of 5S and Value Stream Mapping processes, whilst upskilling the workforce in waste reduction, problem solving and KPI facilitation and understanding.

John said:

“By implementing 5S we have found it has improved our way of working, saving us valuable time in our manufacturing process. An impact of this has been to increase our capacity, which has led us to being able to take on and fulfil larger orders.“

Following completion of the project the business won the new business and were able to enter new supply chains.


Fairham Mouldings

Fairham Mouldings have adopted lean techniques including 5S and Visual management

“The support we have received has enabled us to make improvements to our business which has seen us increase sales by £16k so far and we have taken on a new full-time member of staff to help us meet demand. Funding from the Manufacturing Growth Fund has moved us towards our growth aspirations.”

John Fairhurst, Managing Director, Fairham Mouldings

Alan Reid, Manufacturing Advisor for the Lancashire Manufacturing Growth Fund:

“Fairham Mouldings are an example of a business that were operating well, but could achieve much more by refining their processes and maximising the use of data.

“These lean manufacturing techniques will expand through the whole operation, driving the business towards a culture of continuous improvement and operational excellence, which is only achievable by setting KPIs and benchmarks. It is really remarkable to see such positive results from a relatively small investment from the business.”

John said:

“The new business that we have won means we’re continuing to increase capacity and I anticipate this will continue. We expect to see a further increase in turnover in our year-end reporting.”

Find out more about fully-funded support and grant funding for manufacturing and engineering businesses. 

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