Algram News








Appointment of new quality manager

Alison Cole joined Algram on 23rd February as Quality Manager. Alison has worked in Quality and Regulatory Compliance roles, both in the UK and USA, since July 1991.

Alison brings to us a wealth of medical device experience and excellent knowledge of Quality Management Systems, FDA, Validation and CAPA systems as well as microbiology and product sterilisation.

As part of the Senior Management team, Alison will report to Algram's Managing Director.

Appointment of new production manager

We are pleased to announce the promotion of Tony Tapper to Production Manager since 23rd February 2015. Tony joined the Production Management team back in August 2013, having worked his career in manufacturing, which includes lean manufacturing techniques.

He has an excellent work ethic and a calm, logical approach and with these attributes he soon became a well-respected member of the team, which has now earned him a position on the Senior Management Team.

Tony's role will assist the company's strategy to drive production improvements in QCD.

Appointment of new engineering manager

Algram are pleased to announce with immediate effect the appointment and promotion of Adam Houlton as Engineering Manager.

Adam brings a wealth of all round experience and positivity in supporting both internal and external customer objectives. As part of the Senior Management team, Adam will continue to report to Jon Carter, Technical Director.

Algram makes major investment in new paint shop facility

One of Algrams strengths is to offer a complete service for components / sub-assemblies manufactured in plastic, which includes painting, EMC shielding of interior trim parts for the medical, automotive and aerospace sectors.

Over the years business has increased in this production area and the need for new investment was critical to ensure Algram maintained its high level of quality with current customers, and also provide the opportunity to quote for new business.

The decision was made to buy all new equipment, fully enclosed air / bake spray booths, with positive pressure to provide a dust free environment, which has significantly reduced contamination and raise our quality standard.

This investment is another step forward in ensuring our planned growth and maintain our high quality requirement in these very demanding industry sectors.

Algram secures aerospace certification AS9100 Rev C.

Algram has successfully secured AS9100 certification which will not only maintain our profile within the Aerospace sector, but will also be a major benefit when looking at new business opportunities within this sector and offer an advantage over our competitors.

Algram has been in the Aerospace sector for many years and has gained significant experience in manufacturing components which have to meet stringent quality standards. In maintaining these standards to company has recently secured long term contracts and will see growth within this sector over the next 10 years.

This certification is another stride in our goal to be 'Best In Practice' for supply of components / sub-assemblies manufactured in high performance polymers and ensure we can continue to see sales growth within this very demanding sector.

Algram wins National Apprenticeship Awards 2013 - Medium Employer of the Year

Algram Group Ltd is delighted to have recently been named by the National Apprenticeship Service as Highly Commended in the Medium Employer of the Year Category for 2013 in the South West. The Awards ceremony took place on 18th September at the Holiday Inn, Taunton.

This category seeks to acknowledge and recognise employers with between 25 and 249 employees from all sectors for their ongoing commitment and showcase the benefits gained by developing their workforce through Apprenticeships.

The National Apprenticeship Awards, now in their tenth year, are a celebration of apprentices and employers involved in Apprenticeships across England. Algram was recognised due to their ongoing commitment to the development of their apprentices, and their strong belief that Apprenticeships are vital to their succession planning to help the business sustain a competitive advantage within the global manufacturing industry.

The submissions for 2013 were of a remarkably exceptional quality, making the competition the toughest yet. This was the first year Algram entered the National Apprenticeship Awards and were therefore delighted to become a South West finalist.

Mark Howard, NAS Divisional Area Director, said:

ìThe South West final of the National Apprenticeship Awards was a fantastic evening of celebration, and a brilliant opportunity to recognise the high calibre of apprentices and employers in our region.

ìI would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all the exceptional individuals and employers who had such inspiring stories to tell. Apprenticeships allow employers to grow their own talent, and allow apprentices to earn while they learn and build real careers and bright futures. All our finalists are testament to this.


National Apprenticeship Awards 2013 South West - Medium Employer of the Year: Winners, Paul and Debbie Smith of Blue Flame (Cornwall) Ltd, Paul Hickson of Heart of the South West LEP and Highly Commended, Sarah Mytton of Algram Group Ltd.

Algram reaches regional stage of the National Apprenticeship Awards 2013

Algram has reached the South West regional stage of the National Apprenticeship Awards 2013. The Awards are hosted by the National Apprenticeship Service are designed to recognise and reward the achievements of the exceptional apprentices and the businesses that employ them.

We will be attending the South West Apprenticeship Awards Celebration on the evening of Wednesday 18th September to celebrate this achievement, where the overall winner will be named.

Algram expands its Class 7 Clean room facility

In endoscopy procedures there is a requirement to remove detritus from areas within the patience, for clearer pictures or the use of surgical tools. To achieve this clearing process the endoscopes are fitted with attachments ports, which allow sterilised water to be conveyed through the endoscope and delivered to the required area by the medical professional.

Algram are manufacturing a 24 hour use tube set with a single use connector, this will attach endoscopes to pre-sterilised water bottles. In hospitals bottles of pre-sterilised water are becoming preferred for endoscopy procedures ,especially in facilities where no autoclave is available. Single use medical components eliminate manual cleaning and sterilisation processing of reusable medical devices, reducing the potential for errors and reduces risk of infection to the patient.

Algram have invested in the expansion of their existing Class 7 clean room facility, developing and purchasing an assembly line to facilitate the production of the 24 hour tubes set and single use connector. As part of this expansion Algram now have a new capability of a thermoforming medical packaging line.

To view the new production cell in action click here.

Algram - New woman at the top

Plymouth based Plastics Engineering company Algram, a subsidiary of Japanese Opto-Electronics giant Olympus, has proven that the infamous gender “glass ceiling” has no place in their business by appointing Catherine Harris to the position of Managing Director.

Catherine, a qualified accountant, joined Algram ten years ago as Finance Manager and progressively became more heavily involved in the broader running of the business, leading to her appointment as Operations Director in 2008. In recent years Catherine has gained extensive knowledge of contemporary manufacturing techniques, much of this through visits to Olympus Manufacturing facilities in Japan.

An enthusiasm for “Lean Techniques” and “Continuous Improvement” is evident in her leadership of a recent LEAD (Lean Education and Development) programme undertaken by the majority of production staff working in Algram. Catherine comments “elimination of waste, reductions in inventory and shorter lead times has a natural appeal to an accountant and it the obvious business benefits made this programme very attractive to me. It also appeals to my natural instincts to use our staff to their full potential – you hire a pair of hands and get a brain free”.

Former Managing Director, Steve Brown, remains a Director of Algram, but his broader role within the Olympus group takes him away from the Plymouth site very frequently. He explains “my role has pulled me away from Algram increasingly over the last few years and Catherine, with the support of her capable management team, has managed the business very effectively. Her promotion to the role of Managing Director is a well deserved natural progression.

Algram’s business involves technical plastic components for applications in Medical, Automotive and Aerospace sectors. In addition to Olympus, it boasts Bentley Motors, Rolls Royce and Bae amongst it’s impressive list of clients.

Catherine Harris, Algram’s new Managing Director, being congratulated by her predecessor, Steve Brown

Best Practice in Plymouth

Algram held a Best Practice Event on 14 March 2012 in conjunction with the West of England Aerospace Forum to show off its range of process capabilities for the manufacture of technical components in plastic using high performance polymers to leading aerospace manufacturers and suppliers.

The event was attended by delegates from across the country, representing companies, such as Rolls Royce Aero-Engines, Airbus, AIM Aviation and was a great success in promoting Algram and South West manufacturing capabilities.

Presentations on component weight reduction, switching from metal to plastic and process validation, which are a major importance to aerospace design engineers, were presented, followed by a question and answer session. Delegates were then taken on a tour of our manufacturing facility and the feedback from all, was very positive and will hopefully lead to more enquiries/business opportunities.

From left to right: Barry Warburton - CEO of WEAF, Catherine Harris - Operations Director, Stuart Emson - Sales Director and Jon Carter - Technical Director

Jon Carter giving a tour of Algram’s manufacturing facility

Algram Group secures long term contact with prestige tier 1 automotive supplier

Algram Group Limited, the wholly owned subsidiary of Olympus Optical Company in Japan has secured a new long term contract with a prestige tier 1 automotive supplier going out to 2019.
The contract is for the manufacture and supply of a fuel system header assembly and will provide Algram with the opportunity to buy new equipment dedicated to this project and will see a significant growth with this customer and within the overall automotive sector as part of Algram's future business plan.

The new business involved Algram working together with its customer, during the development stages to come up with a robust design using their in-house design team offering technical support to ensure the components will be manufactured using the injection moulding process in a high performance engineering polymer. The main design criteria, was to achieve a robust manufacturing solution, to ensure process repeatability / sealing of over-moulded pins and bushes and ensure the customer product specification was met in all aspects of quality, cost and delivery.

This contract not only shows how the business relationship between Algram and its customer has developed to a position where they now feel confident to enter into a long term agreement, but will also help give Algram confidence to make further investments, with the security of future production orders within the very competitive technical plastics industry sector over the coming years.

To view the automation process in action click here.

Algram secures new business in the Aerospace/Defence sector

Algram Group Limited, the wholly owned subsidiary of Olympus Optical Company in Japan has secured new business within the prestige UK aerospace/defence sector.

The company has secured long term contracts to supply various injection moulded components, which has provided us with the opportunity to buy new equipment (Arburg 200T press with robot, a Krauss Maffei 50T press and a Mazak 5 Axis lathe), which has been a significant investment and part of Algram’s future business plan.

The new business involved Algram working together with its customer, during the development stages to come up with a robust design using their in-house design team offering technical support to ensure the components will be manufactured using the injection moulding process in a high performance engineering polymer and then finished machined.

The main design criteria, was to achieve a robust manufacturing solution, to ensure the customer product specification was met in all aspects of quality, cost and delivery.

The tooling was manufactured at one of our established tool makers in China inconjuction with Algram’s tool design specification and involved Algram’s Engineering Manager being present at the completion of the tools and T1 mould trials.

Components produced in China were used for the initial build programmes, following full first article inspection report submission, which included the qualification / test stages.

Once the initial qualification / demonstration components have been delivered, follow-up production quantities will be required out to 2017.

This news business has highlighted the partnership between Algram and its customer in ensuring the development, design stages and initial pre-production components was a success and the future production orders will help in securing Algram’s long term business within the very competitive technical plastics industry sector over the coming years.


Algram becomes a member of the West of England Aerospace Forum

As part of its planned growth within the aerospace / defence market sector, Algram Group Limited has become a member of the West of England Aerospace Forum (WEAF). By working with WEAF, Algram has raised its profile within this very prestigious market sector.

For more details link to www.weaf.co.uk

Algram has also continued with its membership of The British Plastics Federation (BPF), which again has help in networking and raising our profile within the plastics industry.

For more details link to www.bpf.co.uk

Algram secures medical certification ISO 13485:2003

As part of its business plan, Algram has now secured ISO 13485:2003 certification which will help raise our profile within the medical sector. Algram has recently upgraded its in-house clean room facility to a Class 7 status for manufacture of components to the medical sector and the new ISO 13485 accreditation will enhance this facility and help to secure new business in this very competitive market.

Being part of the Olympus Optical Company of Japan, this new certification will ensure we continue to meet our existing customer requirements and help in securing business with new potential customers in the medical sector.